Awonder Liang is one of the most impressive chess prodigies in recent history. He holds a number of records including youngest ever to defeat an International Master, youngest to defeat a Grandmaster, youngest American to achieve a master rating, and youngest American to achieve the International Master rating.
Other achievements include tying for first at the 2011 U-8 World Youth Chess Championship, achieving a GM Norm at the 2016 Continental Championships, and placing second in the 2016 U.S. Junior Closed Championship. He enters this tournament having recently dominated Group B of the Spring Classic tournament, held in Saint Louis in May 2017, with a score of 7.5/9. He earned another GM Norm at that event.