Awonder was born in Madison, Wisconsin on April 9, 2003, and has lived there his whole life. He currently attends the University of Chicago. Awonder is also a two-time World Youth chess champion, as well as creator and keeper of many youth chess records. Liang is the second youngest US player ever to achieve the International Master title, and the third youngest to achieve the GM title. Liang is the three-time 2017, 2018, and 2019 champion at this event, and will hope to make it a fourth this year.