America's Young Chess Champs

9/7/2016 – Chess booms in the US. The US team is one of the favorites to win the Open Section of the Olympiad in Baku and the US American juniors achieve success after success. In the Wall Street Journal GM Alejandro Ramirez analyses this phenomenon, concluding that "the new model for U.S. chess success is a uniquely American recipe: private sponsorship combined with school programs and a dollop of vintage Soviet chess know-how". See article in the Wall Street Journal.

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America’s Young Chess Champs

How new programs are developing the next generation of superstars.

Garry Kasparov with Young Stars-Team USA members in Washington, June 2014
(from left to right: Jeffery Xiong, Kayden Troff, Samuel Sevian, Ashritha Eswaran)
(Photo: Paul Morigi/Invision/AP)

By Alejandro Ramirez

American Jeffery Xiong won the World Junior Chess Championship in India at the age of 15 last month, the first American to win the title since 1997. Even in a game known for prodigies, his rise has been meteoric. Born and raised in Coppell, Texas, near Dallas, Jeffrey is the latest star in what one might call a chess renaissance. The new model for U.S. chess success is a uniquely American recipe: private sponsorship combined with school programs and a dollop of vintage Soviet chess know-how.

The Young Stars-Team USA program, a collaboration between the Kasparov Chess Foundation and the Saint Louis Chess Club, is churning out elite players at an impressive rate. Former Soviet chess world champion and political activist Garry Kasparov, now based in New York City, and Michael Khodarkovsky, the foundation’s president, have built a program similar to the one Mr. Kasparov attended as a youth in the Soviet Union.

Read complete article in the Wall Street Journal...