KCF Young Stars "working with Garry"

by Kasparov Chess Foundation
6/20/2018 – The Kasparov Chess Foundation (KCF) and Saint Louis Chess Club have been running the very successful Young Stars – Team USA program for the past six years. Team USA’s program has helped develop several American chess prodigies from across the country, including the likes of GM Jeffery Xiong and GM Sam Sevian. Young Stars has been capped off with individualized training sessions with Garry Kasparov’s coaching staff and special training sessions with Kasparov himself. | Photo: Andrew Tsay

Master Class Vol.7: Garry Kasparov Master Class Vol.7: Garry Kasparov

On this DVD a team of experts gets to the bottom of Kasparov's play. In over 8 hours of video running time the authors Rogozenko, Marin, Reeh and Müller cast light on four important aspects of Kasparov's play: opening, strategy, tactics and endgame.


Top American prospects

The latest of the Young Stars camp was held at the Saint Louis Chess Club, and it brings forward a talented new generation. The players attending this camp already have several World titles between them:

  • Rochelle Wu — u10 World Girls Cadet Chess Champion 2016
  • Vincent Tsay — u12 World Cadet Chess Champion 2017
  • Andrew Hong — u12 Silver Medal World Cadet Chess Championship 2016
  • Liran Zhou — u10 World Cadet Chess Champion 2017
  • Christopher Yoo — 2nd ranked u12 player in the World
  • Nastassja Matus — u12 Silver Medal Girls Cadet Chess Championship 2017
  • Wesley Wang — All-America team member in 2016, 17 and 18

Players group

(L to R) Nastassja, Vincent, Rochelle, Christopher, Wesley, Andrew, Liran | Photo: Lizhi Wu

The camp was three days long and was focused on evaluating the players' current skills and providing guidance towards future improvement. The attendees presented some of their games against top-level competition: six annotated games, all within the last six-month period. Garry went through every game, providing his insights and analyses as well as recommendations for improvement.

Students also were tasked with absolutely top-notch tactical and strategical problems to solve — after all, a back-and-forth banter with Garry Kasparov is difficult to follow even for an in-form GM! Garry was in charge of reviewing the players' games, offering feedback and giving his evaluation of each player’s strengths and weaknesses. He was assisted by FIDE Senior Trainer and KCF President Michael Khodarkovsky.

Rochelle Wu kindly answered a few questions about the camp:

What did you feel was different about this chess camp compared to others?

I think this camp is tougher and at a much higher level than others. People here take chess more seriously and it feels like I’m with the best.

How is Garry as a teacher?

Garry is an interesting teacher. He’s world-class, unlike me, and sometimes he is too advanced, but at the end of the day, I feel like I learned something.

Can you share a couple of your favourite examples from this camp?

I like how during presentations, he would come up with entertaining ideas. He gives interesting studies and it feels great when I get them correct. I felt really good when I solved the knight and pawn ending.


Rochelle Wu solved this study — can you?
Move the pieces on the live diagram to play against an engine!

star parents

Parents are invaluable in the process of achieving success. Seven talents, seven parents!

The highest rated player of the camp was Andrew Hong, a talented and hard-working player that is only one point shy of breaking the 2400 mark. Here is a sample game he presented to the class, his win against GM Gabuzyan:


Andrew also had the following to say about the camp:

“I enjoyed the great environment, and the studies were nice, and even though they were 'tests', I still enjoyed them a lot. I learned a lot, especially how to think in the right way. Of course, working with Garry was such an honour for me. It was really helpful to have him work with me and help me understand some things, and I also tried to understand his thinking process and how he comes to the right move. I thank all the people involved in making the camp possible, and I hope I will get another opportunity.”

The camp finished, but of course, these kids could not get enough chess and played a strong blitz tournament held at the Saint Louis Chess Club to round off the weekend!

The Young Stars program has also gone global and is currently accepting applications worldwide. If you are — or know of — a talented youth that could immensely benefit from the expertise of Garry Kasparov, please check out the information and submission forms.

Solution to Gorgiev’s endgame composition:

1.Ng7+ Kg5 2.Nge6+ Kh6 3.g7 Nf5+ 4.Kg4


4...Nxg7 5.Nd4, and black is in a surprising zugzwang! (Black can make it tough with 4...Ne7, but after 5.Kf4 it's still mate in 17!)


The vision of the Kasparov Chess Foundation is primarily to use the many benefits of chess to help children worldwide. KCF does this through a variety of different programs, which you can find at KasparovChessFoundation.org


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