Greenwich elementary chess champs head for Tarrytown N. America competition

Today starts the four-day North America Youth Chess Championship for top players in North America held in Tarrytown, N.Y. The event represents one of three major scholastic chess tournaments held in the U.S. annually, and it ranks second in importance after the World Youth chess contest and before the U.S. Chess Federation National Elementary Championship – which any U.S. player can participate in regardless of rating, says David Lu of Greenwich, father of a chess champion son, Max Lu, who is finishing up second grade at Whitby.

Max Lu was ranked fifth in the world at age 8 after the World Youth Chess Competition last December and is playing today in the Under 10 year-old category.  David Lu likens this contest as second in importance to World Youth based on age categories rather than grade categories. “Usually players have two years of eligibility in each category,” says Lu, “as it goes under 8, under 10 etc.  And this is Max’s first year of eligibility in the Under 10 category, says Lu, “so he will be playing older kids.”

Dennis Li, a sixth grader at Eastern Middle School is also playing today in the Under 12-year-old category. Dennis almost made it into the World Youth but was missing some 100 rating points. He could commiserate with champion Zachary Tanenbaum from Western Middle School who had the same problem but hopes like Dennis to do some good scoring these next few days at Tarrytown where he’ll be competing with the Under 14-year-olds.

God speed boys, and stay tuned for the results of their competition next week.