Alice Lee earns third IM norm at age 13

by Johannes Fischer
6/17/2023 – Alice Lee, aged 13, is considered one of the biggest talents in the United States. In March, she finished second in the highly competitive American Cup after narrowly losing to Irina Krush in a playoff. The youngster has now earned her third and final IM norm at the Canadian Transnational Open in Montreal. Alice Lee is in illustrious company, as the only women players that had previously earned the IM title by age 13 are Judit Polgar and Kateryna Lagno. | Photo: Bryan Adams / Saint Louis Chess Club

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A record-breaking achievement

After remarkably finishing in second place at the American Cup, Alice Lee was interviewed by Tatiana Flores. The teenager was asked when she expected to make her last IM norm. A confident Alice Lee replied:

I’m playing a few tournaments from the end of May through the summer, so I’m hoping to get my final norm in one of those.

At the Canadian Transnational Championship, a 9-round Swiss open held in Montreal on 6-11 June, the youngster reached her goal. After facing eight GMs and one IM, she collected 4½ points from 9 games and achieved a 2531 rating performance. This was enough to secure her third and final IM norm, thus breaking a record, as no other girl from the United States had ever won the title at such a young age.

Having achieved this goal at 13, the sky is the limit for the girl from Minneapolis. Flores also asked her about her long-term goals, and Lee maturely replied:

I would definitely say that I’d like to become a GM, especially since I think it’s within reach if I keep improving. However, that’s like a really big goal that won’t happen for another three years, so for the moment I’m trying to focus on smaller goals, trying to improve my chess. [...] I still have goals I’d like to achieve.

The winner of the Canadian Transnational Championship was the Latvian GM Toms Kantans. He scored 7½/9 points and finished a full point ahead of Polish GM Mateusz Bartel and Canadian IM Shawn Rodrigue-Lemieux.

Final standings

Rk. Name  TB1 
1 Kantans, Toms 7,5
2 Bartel, Mateusz 6,5
Rodrigue-Lemieux, Shawn 6,5
4 Liang, Awonder 6
Bosiocic, Marin 6
Matviishen, Viktor 6
Noritsyn, Nikolay 6
8 Bruzon Batista, Lazaro 5,5
Meshkovs, Nikita 5,5
Lenderman, Alexandr 5,5
Almeida Quintana, Omar 5,5
Preotu, Razvan 5,5
Heimann, Mark 5,5
Plotkin, Mark 5,5
15 Neiksans, Arturs 5
Moradiabadi, Elshan 5
Szabo, Gergely-Andras-Gyula 5
Posthuma, Joshua 5
Sambuev, Bator 5
Msellek, Ilyass 5

...55 players

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Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".