8th grader Shawnak Shivakumar places second and third at the North American Youth Chess Tournament

by Linda Hubbard on September 7, 2021

Hillview Middle School 8th grader Shawnak Shivakumar won second place at the North American Youth Chess Tournament in the u14 category and third place in the Blitz tournament that took place in Chicago. He was awarded the FIDE Candidate Master title.

Emails Devleena (his mother): “North American regional is a prestigious tournament that is attended by youths from various countries. The tournament was five days long with several nail biting moments.

“Shawnak had just lost his grandfather, and we weren’t sure about the trip due to the Delta variant. But given the high vaccination rate in the chess community, and strict social distancing/masking protocol along with large/ventilated playing rooms, we decided to go.

“Shawnak started at the 13th position in his category, and fought his way up to 2nd place. He had the opportunity to play with many top ranking kids from across the continent. This was the first major in-person tournament after 1.5 years of online tournaments, and a unique experience for all.

“On our way back to SF, many people stopped by to check out the giant trophy at the airport and talk about chess due to its recent popularity (thanks Queen’s Gambit).

Photos courtesy of Shivakumar family

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