Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Breaking News! Darwin Yang is the newest American IM!
14 year old Texan became youngest International Master in Texas chess history
Darwin Yang, a 14 year old from Plano, the number junior in Texas, earned his third and final International Master norm last night after beating Harvard former number one player, International Master Marc Esserman, in an intense battle which lasted more than four hours in the eighth round of the 2011 SPICE Spring Chess Invitational.
It was a must win game for both players. Esserman needed to win in round 8 and 9 to secure a Grandmaster norm. Yang only needed to draw to earn his final International Master norm. But just like Esserman, he has to win his final two games for his first Grandmaster norm, the highest designation in chess.
The more experienced Esserman decided to go all out and literally threw the kitchen sink at Yang hoping to rattle the kid. However, the poised 14 year old with nerve of steel calmly defended his opponent’s attack and tricky tactics. At the end, the risky strategy by Esserman failed and Yang collected the full point to make history by becoming the youngest International Master in Texas Chess history.
Not to be outdone by Yang, 15 year old International Master Daniel Naroditsky and number one junior in California, defeated veteran International Master Levon Altounian from Arizona to tie for the SPICE Spring Chess Invitational lead.
Naroditsky shocked the chess world a little over three years ago by winning the World Youth Championship as a heavy underdog. He earned a spot in the upcoming 2011 US Championship by finishing as the top American in the 2010 US Open. In addition to being a chess phenom, he is also an accomplished chess author. He has written a number of articles in various chess publications. His first chess book, Master Positional Chess, was released last year to rave review. His next book will be published soon.
Both Yang and Naroditsky are top notch students in their respective schools.
Texas Tech Knight Raider Captain Grandmaster Davorin Kuljasevic remains in a tie for first place with just one round to go. He is the only player in the ten player world class field who is undefeated. All members of the Texas Tech Knight Raiders A team are taking part in this prestigious event. In addition to bringing tremendous positive worldwide publicity to Texas Tech and Lubbock, the SPICE Spring Invitational also serves as a valuable training event for our players as they are prepared to compete in the College Chess Final Four in Washington, DC in two weeks.
The final round will begin at 9:30 am today in room 201 at the Texas Tech English Building. The closing ceremony will take place at 2:30 pm.
Standings after 8 rounds
1-3. GM Kuljasevic, IM Naroditsky, FM Yang 5.5 (+3)
4. IM Esserman 4.5 (+1)
5-6. GM Bykhovsky, GM Diamant 4.0 (0)
7. IM Altounian 3.5 (-1)
8. IM Sipos 3.0 (-2)
9. SM Aleskerov 2.5 (-3)
10. IM Kleiman 2.0 (-4)
FM Darwin Yang already earned his 3rd and final IM norm. He needs to win last round for a GM norm
IM Naroditsky needs to win last round for a GM norm
March 16 9:30am
Final round 9
Diamant - Yang
Esserman - Naroditsky
Altounian - Kuljasevic
Bykhovsky – Aleskerov
Sipos - Kleiman
Closing ceremony: March 16 2:30pm