At just 17 years of age, Carissa Yip has quickly become one of the top female players in America. Known for her creativity over the board, Yip has been on a record-shattering pace ever since she learned how to play the game from her father at age 6. Three years later, at age 9, she became the youngest ever female player to reach the Expert level. Two years later, she broke the record for youngest female to achieve the title of National Master at the age of 11 years, 5 months, and 18 days. Along the way to Master, she set the record for youngest female player to beat a Grandmaster for her win against GM Alexander Ivanov in the New England Open a few days before her 11th birthday. In 2019, she took clear first at the Girls’ Junior Championship with a score of seven out of nine, defending her title from 2018. This year, she competed at the 2020 Cairns Cup where she defeated players such as Women’s World Champion GM Wenjun Ju, 2019 Cairns Cup Champion, GM Valentina Gunina, and GM Irina Krush.
Annie Wang started playing chess when she was five, after being introduced to the game at a simultaneous exhibition in a nearby park. In 2017, she won the Girls U-16 section of the World Youth Chess Championship with a score of 10.5/11. Her other accomplishments include placing second, after an exciting playoff against IM Nazi Paikidze, at the 2018 U.S. Women's Championship and earning a bronze medal at the 2016 World Youth Chess Championships. In 2014, at the age of 11, Annie broke Irina Krush's record for the youngest female national master in the US; later that same year, she won the North American Youth Chess Championships for girls under 18, despite being only 12 at the time. Throughout the last few years, Annie has been promoting chess by running a free chess program for kids at a local library and volunteering in numerous chess-related activities. Today, Annie lives in Los Angeles, California, where she attends high school. Outside of chess, she plays the piano and enjoys reading, running, and spending time with her friends.
Yu was born in Ithaca, New York and started playing chess in first grade, attending an after-school chess class. After the school finished its chess sessions, Yu wanted to continue her interest and asked her parents to find a coach. This simple request launched Yu’s chess career. They took her to group chess lessons and tournaments for kids, but didn’t realize how talented she was until that coach informed them.
Today, the 18-year old lives in Ashburn, Virginia. Her well-rounded interests include playing the flute and piano, listening to music, drawing, and playing sports. She becomes a better player through competition in tournaments where she can think through difficult challenges as she encounters them. Yu holds a FIDE rating of 2273 and has participated in three World Youth Chess Championships. In 2014, Yu took home a gold medal at the World Youth Championship in the Girls U12 section. She was the first American to do so in 27 years. She has also won the National Girls Tournament of Champions three times, and competed on the U.S. Women’s Olympiad team for the first time in 2018. Last year, Yu had an unbelievable performance at the US Women’s Championship; scoring 10/11 points and winning the tournament by a wide margin.
Thalia started playing chess in Cuba, but in 2014 she moved to the United States seeking better chess opportunities. She has won such tournaments as the Susan Polgar Foundation Girls Invitational and KCF US Girls Championship. More recently Thalia has had good results at Carlos Torre Open, North American Open and Continental Championship. She is a Woman International Master, and is a familiar face at the Saint Louis Chess Club.
Emily started playing chess competitively at a young age. She notably won the U.S. Junior U8 Championship (Open section) in 2010, the 2012 Pan-American Youth Championships (U10 Girls), and the 2016 North American U20 Girls Championship. She also won the Girls’ Junior Championship in 2016. Outside of chess, Emily enjoys swimming and playing the piano. In the 2018 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, she finished in a tie for second behind Carissa Yip. This will be her third appearance at the U.S. Women’s Championship.
Martha Samadashvili is a Woman FIDE Master. She enjoys reading and writing, and is a two-time Geography Bee school Champion. She started to play chess in 2012 when she was 8 years old. In 2013 Martha became North American Youth Champion GU10. In 2014, she won the North American Youth Chess Championship GU12, giving her the WFM title. The same summer, she became the Pan American Youth Chess Champion by winning all nine games in the GU10. She became a National Master at the age of twelve in 2017. In the summer of 2017, she also competed in the Match of the Millennials in Saint Louis. In 2018, Martha won the NY State Girls Championship, making her the State Champion.
Yan hails from Mountain View, CA. She won the Girls 10-13 division of the ChessKid Online National Invitational Championship last February with an undefeated four out of five score. She is a returning competitor from the 2019 U.S. Girls' Junior Championship.
In 2014, at the age of 11, Sophie tried to learn how to play chess after watching her friends play the game at school. She really enjoyed it, so she decided to play in her first tournament soon afterwards. Since then, her rating skyrocketed to above 1500 in July 2015, and then, in February 2016, she broke the 2000 barrier. Later that year, she won second place in the U14 section of the 2016 All-Girls National Championship. The following year, she won the 2017 New York Girls State Championship and the 2017 All-Girls National Championship (in the U18 section). She also carried the Stuyvesant High School chess team to first place victories in the 2016 K-12 Grade Championships and the 2017 All-Girls National Championship. Morris-Suzuki is a returning competitor from the 2018 U.S. Girls' Junior Championship.
Rochelle started playing chess at the age of six. She won the gold medal in the 2016 World Cadet Chess Championship under-10 girls section. In 2017, Rochelle took first place in the National Girls Tournament of Champions. At the age of 11, she earned her National Master title. Rochelle earned the WIM title and a WGM norm by winning the 2018 North American Junior Girls Championship. In 2019, Rochelle broke the record for the youngest ever player to represent the U.S. in an Olympiad or World Team and celebrated her 13th birthday at the World Team Championship in Kazakhstan. With her success as a young player, she has been invited to participate in the Young Stars program, a chess training program coached by Garry Kasparov and sponsored by the Saint Louis Chess Club.
Alice Lee is an American chess WCM from Minnesota. She started playing chess at the age of 6. At 7, Alice won the National Girls Championship U8 section, and went on to place 5th in the Girls U8 section in the 2017 World Cadet Chess Championship. At the age of 8, Alice became one of the youngest girls to reach US chess expert level. She won the National Girls Championship U18 section at the age of 9, and was the gold medalist in the 2019 World Cadet Championship in the Girls U10 section with a score of 10/11. At the age of 10, Alice achieved the US Chess National Master title. She has exhibited so much talent that she caught the eye of Gary Kasparov and joined the Kasparov Chess Foundation's Young Stars Team USA Training camps.