Chess Superstars

GM Maurice Ashley

Maurice Ashley is the first African-American Grandmaster of chess and is also a championship chess coach, ESPN commentator, author, app designer, and speaker. Maurice worked as a Fellow at MIT’s Media Lab developing a program to bring chess and its benefits to a wider audience through technology. Brought up in the streets of Kingston, Jamaica and Brooklyn, New York, Maurice often shares his story with young people in impoverished and crime-ridden communities around the globe...Read More

WGM Qiyu Zhou (17 y-o)

Qiyu Zhou is a Canadian Chess prodigy who holds the titles of Woman Grandmaster (WGM) and FIDE Master (FM), and attends school full-time in the International Baccalaureate program in Grade 12. Qiyu learned chess at the age of four in France before moving to Finland where she was the U10 Finnish Youth Chess Champion (Open) for five consecutive years. In 2008 she won the silver medal at the U8 Female World Youth Chess Championship and later moved to Canada. Qiyu has been the U12 and U14 Female Canadian Youth Chess Champion in 2012 and 2013... Read More


GM Akshat Chandra (17 y-o)

Akshat Chandra started playing chess at the age of around 9 1/2 years. He has recorded one of the fastest rises in the history of world chess when his chess rating climbed steeply from 1548 to a GM rating of 2500 in about 5 years. Notable achievements for Akshat include winning the 2015 U.S. Junior Chess Championship, the 2015 National High School Chess Championship as well as the National High School Blitz Championship, and the US National K-9 Championship in 2013, all in his first appearances. Since 2014, at age 14, Akshat has been the #1 ranked Junior Rapid Chess player in the US... Read More


GM Awonder Liang (14 y-o)

Awonder Liang is an American chess prodigy and chess Grandmaster. At 14 years old, Awonder is currently the youngest chess grandmaster in the world and is one of the most impressive chess prodigies in recent history. Awonder is the youngest person ever to defeat an International Master, at the age of 8 years and 118 days and the youngest person ever to defeat a Grandmaster, at the age of 9 years and 111 days. Awonder was the U8 World Championship... Read More


WIM Akshita Gorti (14 y-o)

Akshita Gorti is a US Chess prodigy who is the highest rated female chess player under 14 in the world. She holds the titles of Women’s International Master and Women’s FIDE Master. Akshita was the U8 Female North American Youth Champion in 2010 and tied for 1st place in the U10 Female North American Youth Championship in 2011. While only 10 years old she won the ... Read More


David MacEnulty

David MacEnulty has been teaching chess to adults and children for more than twenty-five years and has been one of the most impactful scholastic chess coaches in the USA over that period. David began his chess-teaching career with Chess-in-the-Schools, a non-profit foundation that sends chess teachers to schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Later, David became the first full-time New York City public school teacher to teach chess as an academic subject. Working in a large elementary school in the South Bronx, his team won first... Read More