Hi this is Leslie Harris, and a young man from Chicago has placed second at a national youth chess tournament.
Avi Kaplan is 15, and has been playing chess since first grade, even though his parents don’t play much. This past December, he competed against over 1200 young players in a national tournament in Orlando, and placed second.
He learned how to strategize at a very young age. He also says that playing chess has helped him with his creativity, determination and memorization.
He spends 20 to 30 hours every week playing chess, and also studies past games to see where he could have played better.
Avi is hoping to reach Grandmaster rank, but also wants to make sure he is still enjoying the game. He said, “Even though I have a lot of trophies it doesn’t mean that chess is any easier. I still have to focus on every game…sometimes not every tournament will go your way… At the end of the day the most important thing is to keep playing and keep having fun and trying to do your best.”
Best of luck to Avi Kaplan! I look forward to seeing how far this young man goes.