Carson Middle School student ranked No. 1 by U.S. Chess Federation |
North Hills

Carson Middle School student ranked No. 1 by U.S. Chess Federation

Evan Park, 11, is a sixth-grader at Carson Middle School.

For the third consecutive year, North Allegheny sixth grader Evan Park will compete in an international chess tournament.

Park, 11, of McCandless qualified for the World Cadet championship Aug. 20 through Sept. 2 in China in the Open U12 division.

Park, who ranked first in April among Top Age 11 players by the U.S. Chess Federation (2239), advanced by achieving the highest rating in his age and gender category according to the federation’s February rating supplement.

Grandmaster Alexander Shabalov, Park’s instructor for the past three years, expects Park to be a darkhorse.

“Every year of development at this age is crucial,” said Shabalov, a resident of Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood. “Our goals will be to gain necessary experience to become a contender in two years, plus to get rating points along the way.

“Compared to (the) best guys at the tournament, Evan’s experience will be very limited.”

Park placed 24th in Open U10 in the 2017 championship in Brazil, and 51st in U12 Open in the 2018 tournament in Spain.

A U.S. Chess National Master, Park hopes to achieve the title of World Chess Federation International Master. He will need a minimum rating of 2400.

Park, a member of the 2019 U.S. Chess All-America team in Age 10, was proud to make National Master. The title, which is awarded to any player reaching 2200, is held by less than one percent of rated players, according to U.S. Chess.

“Evan’s breaking the rating barrier to become a National Master is a great achievement at this age,” Shabalov said. “It is much more important for me to see that he got the foundation to become a Grandmaster one day.”

Grandmaster, the highest title, requires a 2500 and is awarded by World Chess.

Park (2177) took first place in the National Chess Congress Under 2200 Section last November in Philadelphia. He was first in the Pennsylvania State Scholastic Championships in the K to 8 Open in March in Gettysburg (2199).

As a state champion, he has been invited to the Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions Aug. 3-6 in Orlando, Fla. He will compete in the National Elementary (K-6) Championship May 10 to 12 in Nashville, Tenn.

Park said his goals are to enjoy every tournament and do his best.

He said he has fun talking with Shabalov, and that his former coaches, National Masters Franklin Chen and Qibiao Wang, encourage him.

His parents, Yongseok Park and Airong Luo, pay for and travel with him to tournaments.

He said his sister, Eleanor, 14, also deserves credit.

“I have to take one of our parents away from her when I travel for tournaments,” he said.

Karen Kadilak is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

Categories: Local | North Hills
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.