UPDATE: Madison Boy Named Chess Master

By: Britni McDonald
By: Britni McDonald

UPDATED Tuesday, March 26, 2013 --- 11:29 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A 9-year-old Madison boy has become the youngest American to reach the rank of chess master.

The United States Chess Federation has certified that Awonder Liang has earned more than 2,200 points, or master status, while playing at a weekend tournament in Dayton, Ohio.

Federation rater Walter Brown says the fourth-grader is a week younger than the previous record holder, a California boy who set the mark in 2010.

The Wisconsin State Journal says points toward master status are earned most quickly by beating better competition. Liang became a chess prodigy when he defeated a grandmaster, the highest rated player in the game, when he was 8.

Brown says Liang is currently the 10th best player overall in Wisconsin.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


Posted Monday, March 25--- 10:26 p.m.

Over the weekend a little boy from Madison became a chess master.

9-year-old Awonder Liang has become a wonder-- a name that's quickly gaining national recognition.

"More than 99.9% of people play chess all their life and never achieve this title," said his father, Will Liang.

The youngest chess champion in the country started playing chess in Madison's public library when he was just five-years-old.

Since then he's gone on to become the World Youth Champion in 2011, beating professional chess players, sometimes those who are seven times his age.

Saturday is when he became the United States Chess Federation Master after competing in the Midwest Open Team Chess Festival in Dayton, Ohio. But he said beyond studying, he doesn't really go in with a strategy.

"I just try to do the best I can," said Awonder.

Now having traveled all over the country and world competing, earning this prestigious title, and even with his own Wikipedia page, he remains humble.

"I think I've been OK so far, but there's so much I can achieve."

With many comparisons being made to American grand chess master Bobby Fischer, Awonder said he's just beginning.

"If I'm being compared to Bobby Fisher there's still quite a bit left I need to do."

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