Is age 14 too old to be considered a Wunderkind? Or if your first name is Awonder, are you a Wunderkind for your entire life?
Teenaged Grandmaster Awonder Liang of Madison, Wisconsin (born April 9, 2003) won four consecutive games and $1,000 for finishing a full point ahead of the field in the Hull-House Grandmaster section of the Chicago Chess Center's Jane Addams Memorial, held January 27-28 at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Grandmasters Vladimir Georgiev, Fidel Corrales Jiménez, Priyadharshan Kannappan, Ashwin Jayaram, and FiDE Master Gauri Shankar all tied for second with 3-1 scores. Tom Polgar-Shultzman (son of former Women's World Champion Susan Polgar), also scored 3-1 and took the Under 2300 prize.
Every one of the lower sections had a clear winner who cashed a check for $508.67:
Agarhhoriol Gangaa won the Under 2100 section with 3½ points, ahead of Anthony Hung and Nicholas Ladan.
Avi Harrison Kaplan won the Under 1900 Section; William Blackman took clear second, and James Abbott and young Yuvraj Chennareddy (playing up from U1700!) tied for third.
Patrice Connelly swept the Under 1700 Section, a full point ahead of Richard Becker and Adam Elgat.
Moses Khutsafalo (pre-event 1041) won the Under 1500 section with a 6-0 score, two (!) full points head of clear second place finishers Yuri Malina and Dimitrios Deligiannis.
The Under 1300 Section was perhaps the most closely contested: Nandini Prakash lost his first game, then reeled off five wins in a row to take first with 5-1, half a point ahead of Timothy Shortess and David Wright Masse.
It's slightly scary to have an event with over $7,000 in prizes in Chicago in January. Thanks to the 109 entrants for making the inagural Jane Addams Memorial a success!
Bill Buklis and Hiro Higuchi directed for Chicago Chess Center.
More to follow.