Equipped with a higher rating and a newly earned International Master title, Yian Liou of Alamo, California once again looks to leave his mark on the U.S. Junior Closed Championship. As a veteran of the tournament—Yian played in the 2013 U.S. Junior Closed—he knows well what it will take to succeed at one of chess’ premier youth tournaments. In 2013, Yian noted the difficulty in playing games in a new environment—with new boards, clocks, and pieces—but his familiarity with the Saint Louis Chess Club and Scholastic Center should help give him a leg-up on his performance from the previous tournament. Coupled with his exceptional play, Yian simply is a contender who cannot be overlooked.
Born in 1997, Yian’s dominance in chess began early, winning tournaments such as his state’s high-school championship—as only a sixth-grader. Since, he has tied for first place in both the 2010 Cadet Championship and 2012 Metropolitan Closed. The past year has been a successful one for Yian, as he has received his prestigious IM title, pushed his rating above 2500, and been awarded the Falconer award - which is bestowed along with a cash prize to the highest rated chess player under eighteen in northern California. Yian looks to continue his good fortune this July amongst some of the nation’s best youth chess players.