The magnificent rise of Jennifer Yu, America's next Chess Superstar!


The magnificent rise of Jennifer Yu!

I remember Jennifer Yu back in June 2009 when she played in the SPF World Open for Girls in Las Vegas, her first ever chess tournament outside of California. Her rating was 665! In round 2, she lost to the eventual winner, Emily Nguyen (scored 5/5), who is a participant of the 2019 US Women's Championship!

Jennifer's second tournament outside of California was the 2010 SPF World Open for Girls in Las Vegas. Her rating jumped to 1001! In round 3, she lost to the eventual winner, Maggie Feng (scored 5/5), who is also a participant of the 2019 US Women's Championship!

​In 2001, Jennifer played in the SPF National Open for Girls in Phoenix, Arizona. Her rating once again jumped to 1412! This time she won it with an impressive score of 6.5/7! The only draw she had was in round 4 against Ashritha Eswaran who is also a participant of the 2019 US Women's Championship!

Her family then moved from California to Virginia.

In 2013, she played in the SPF Girl's Invitational. Her rating is now at an impressive 1993, just a few short years after she started playing chess. She finished 8th among the 60 qualifiers and 1st in the 13 and under category. One of her draws was against Alexandra Botez, a member of the Canadian Women's Olympiad Team. The winner of the event is Luisa Mercado, a Webster University alumna, who is working at Harvard University!

Shortly after this, she won Gold in the World Youth. I received this beautiful email from her parents:

Hi Susan,

We want to share with you the good news (even though it is a bit late after the long travel back home from South Africa) that SPF alumni Jennifer Yu won gold in the Girls Under 12 section at the World Youth Chess Championship.

This was the first gold medal won by a US girl in 27 years and was also the only gold won by the 70-plus-membered US youth team at this World Youth.

She dominated the tournament by scoring 10 out of 11 games while the silver and bronze medalists from Russia and Belarus each scored 8. This gold medal ended a 27 years drought for US girls. According to Wikipedia (World Youth Chess Championship).

Last time a US girl ever won gold in the World Youth was in 1987, with Yvonne Krawiec winning the girls under 12 section and Susan Urminska winning the girls under 10 section.

Jennifer and we want to say that you have played a major role in her growing up as a chess player. She reads your blog every day to absorb knowledge as well as inspiration. Your books helped sharpen her tactics and calculation skills. Thank you very much!

Attached are two pictures from the award ceremony.

Best Regards,
Yan and Zhiheng, Jennifer’s parents

Jennifer has had many more incredible success since, including Bronze (board 5) at the 2018 Women's Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia. Jennifer now has a full point lead after 8 rounds at the 2019 US Women's Championship!

Good luck Jennifer!

In addition to Jennifer Yu, all others in this photo (Ashritha Eswaran, Jennifer Yu, Emily Nguyen, Carrisa Yip, Annie Wang, and Maggie Feng) have played in either the SPF Girls' Invitational, SPF World Open for Girls, SPF National Open for Girls, or all 3! There will be more after them! I am also so proud of all of them!


Women's Chess