Check Mate
By Sabrina Messite
October 30, 2017

Sixth grader Vincent Tsay of Great Neck won a gold medal at the World Youth Chess Championship 2017 in Brazil this summer.

Held annually since 1987, the World Cadets Chess Championship is one of the most prestigious competitions for players younger than 12. More than 500 top competitors from more than 40 countries around the world converged in Poços de Caldas–Minas Gerais, Brazil, between Aug. 21 and 31 for the matches organized by the World Chess Federation (FIDE), Confederation of Chess for Americans (CCA) and Brazilian Chess Confederation (CBX).

Tsay began as the number 16 seed, but defeated the top three seeded players from Russia and Eastern Europe to secure a gold medal for the United States after 11 rounds of competition.

Vincent Tsay at 2017 SPICE Cup

The Buckley Country Day School student has only been playing chess for a little more than three years, since he was 9 years old. In March, he won second place in the Junior High Championship at the New York State Scholastic Championship, and was subsequently awarded as The United States Chess Federation (USCF) National Master.

“He is one of the few players who has reached this honor within such a short span of time playing the game,” said his mother, Bella Liu.

“I started loving chess the moment I touched the chess piece,” Tsay explained.

Liu recognized her son’s passion and immediately started taking him to tournaments across the United States as he continued to improve.

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