It has now been several years since I first reported on the three California chess prodigies that I had the pleasure of coaching during the 2010 school year. My first article, “On The Eve of Greatness: Three California Chess Prodiogies Competing in their First National Chess Championship” shined the national spotlight onto Milind Maiti, Chenyi Zhao and Ben Rood. Since then, the United States has been honored to have all three players selected to represent their country at World Youth Chess Championship Tournaments. “On The Eve of Greatness: Part Two,” followed the adventures of Ben Rood and Milind Maiti in Slovenia at the World Youth Chess Championship in 2012. This weekend, all three are entered to play in k-3 Championship division of
the USCF Supernationals in Nashville, Tennessee.
Milind Maiti, is a first rate chess talent who, sadly for this coach, no longer attends Collins Elementary School. However, any student I have ever coached, I remain a fan of for life. Besides, Milind’s natural chess abilities and pleasant personality make it virtually impossible not to be a fan of his chess.
I still play chess with Chenyi Zhao every Thursday at Achiever Institute in Fremont, California. Even after all these years, I still am constantly impressed with her chess prowess and work ethic. After I play a game with Chenyi, she usually volunteers to help my four year old daughter improve her chess game as well. I have no doubt that Chenyi’s chess future is as bright as her beautiful smile.
Ben Rood is scary good at chess. He has already won a couple National Championships but after barely missing a medal in Slovenia, Ben definitely has something to prove. When he has his “A” game going there is no one his age that can match his ability at chess. I predict another top finish for Ben in Nashville and a medal run at the next World Youth Chess Championships in Dubai.