Awonder Liang

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Awonder Liang
Liang Awonder.jpg
Awonder Liang at the 2013 World Youth Chess Championship in Al-Ain
CountryUnited States
Born (2003-04-09) April 9, 2003 (age 16)
Madison, Wisconsin, United States
TitleGrandmaster (2017)
FIDE rating2592 (June 2019)
Peak rating2590 (February 2019)
Medal record
Representing  United States
World Youth Chess Championship
Gold medal – first place 2011 Caldas Novas (Brazil) Under-8
Gold medal – first place 2013 Al-Ain (UAE) Under-10

Awonder Liang (born April 9, 2003)[1] is an American chess prodigy. He is the second youngest American to qualify for the title of Grandmaster (after Samuel Sevian) and fifteenth-youngest in history.[2] Liang was twice world champion in his age category.


On April 16, 2011, when he played in the Hales Corners Challenge chess tournament in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Awonder became the youngest chess expert in United States Chess Federation (USCF) history with a rating of 2000 at the age of 8 years and 7 days.[3] Awonder broke the earlier record, held by Samuel Sevian, by 64 days.

On August 5, 2011, at the age of 8 years 118 days, he became the youngest to defeat an international master in a standard tournament game.[4] This occurred in round 6 at the U.S. Open in Orlando, Florida, when Awonder defeated IM Daniel Fernandez (rated FIDE 2401 and USCF 2448 at that time). The previous record, which was held by Fabiano Caruana, was broken by 4 months and 15 days.[5][better source needed]

On November 27, 2011, he won the gold medal in the under-8 open section of the World Youth Chess Championship in Caldas Novas, Brazil. This win earned him the titles of U-8 world chess champion and FIDE Master.[6]

On July 29, 2012, he became the youngest player ever to defeat a Grandmaster (GM) in a standard time limit tournament game. It occurred in round 3 of the Washington International in Rockville, Maryland, when he defeated GM Larry Kaufman. Awonder was 9 years, 111 days old at the time, breaking the previous record by about 2.5 months.[7] the record was previously held by Shah Hetul at the age of about 9 years, 6 months.[8] At the same time, Awonder broke the USA record for the youngest to win against a GM by 10 months, 9 days; the previous record having been held by Fabiano Caruana.

On March 23, 2013, he became the youngest person ever to obtain a master's rating within the United States Chess Federation. While playing in the Midwest Open Team Chess Festival in Dayton, Ohio, his win over a Life Master in round 2 brought his estimated USCF rating to 2206. Liang was 17 days shy of his tenth birthday at the time of this achievement, 10 days younger than the age at the previously existing record (held by Samuel Sevian, 7 days prior to his tenth birthday). On September 2, 2015, Maximillian Lu broke Awonder's record by 12 days. At the 2013 World Youth Championships, which took place in Al Ain, Liang won the Under 10 section.

On June 30, 2014, at the age of 11 years and 92 days, while competing in the 2nd Annual DC International, he became the youngest American to achieve a norm for the title International Master (IM). Liang earned his third and final IM norm in Dallas on November 25, 2015 at 12 years, 7 months and 6 days old, thus becoming the youngest American ever to qualify for the title of International Master.[9]

From July 8 to July 17, 2016, Awonder Liang participated in the U.S. Junior Closed Chess Championship at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis, Missouri. Liang achieved a score of 6/9, for second place behind Jeffery Xiong, who won with a score of 6.5/9. He won four games, drew four, and lost one game to Xiong.

In May 2017, Awonder Liang earned his final two Grandmaster norms in back-to-back tournaments at the Spring Chess Classic in St. Louis (Group B) and the Chicago Open, with the latter won on May 29. He won the former tournament with a score of 7.5/9 and ended up getting 6.5/9 at the latter tournament to share 5th to 9th place. At the time, he became the tenth youngest player ever to achieve the Grandmaster title in chess.

On July 17, 2017, Awonder won the US Junior Closed Championship with a score of 6.5/9. This earned him a spot in the 2018 US Chess Championship.


  1. ^ IM title application FIDE.
  2. ^ Kulkarni (Rakesh), Rakesh. "Gukesh Becomes 2nd Youngest GM In History". Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  3. ^ Lewis, Chelsey. "Chess whiz". Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  4. ^ "Awonder Liang vs Daniel Fernandez (2011) "It's Awonder Full Life"". July 30, 2011. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  5. ^ "Google Discussiegroepen". Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  6. ^ McClain, Dylan (December 3, 2011). "8-Year-Old American Wins a World Championship". New York Times. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  7. ^ A new record by Awonder. Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information. 2012-07-30. Retrieved on 2012-10-11;
  8. ^ "The Hindu News Update Service". Chennai, India: January 11, 2009. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  9. ^ Silver, Albert (December 2, 2015). "Awonder Liang is youngest ever IM in US". ChessBase. Retrieved December 3, 2015.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Samuel Sevian
Youngest ever United States chessmaster
Succeeded by
Maximillian Lu
Preceded by
Samuel Sevian
Youngest ever United States International Master
Succeeded by