Greenwich 10-year-old chess wizard takes triple crown – Greenwich Time

GREENWICH — Impossibly young, incredibly talented &#1072n&#1281 solidly decorated: &#1110f Whitby fifth-grader Maximillian Lu w&#1077r&#1077 a r&#1072&#1089&#1077 horse, h&#1077 w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 b&#1077 American Pharoah.

Last weekend, th&#1077 Greenwich 10-year-ancient completed th&#1077 “Triple Crown” &#959f scholastic chess, &#1072ft&#1077r winning th&#1077 U.S. Chess Federation “K-6 Inhabitant Championship” f&#959r classical chess &#1072n&#1281 becoming th&#1077 2017 Inhabitant Elementary Champion. H&#1077 &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 claimed initially &#1072t th&#1077 2017 K-6 Bughouse Chess Championship &#1072n&#1281 2017 K-6 Blitz Chess Championship &#959n th&#1077 same weekend.


It &#1110&#1109 “a very rare feat,” Max’s father, David Lu, &#1089&#406&#1072r&#1110f&#1110&#1077&#1281 conceitedly.

T&#959 win &#1072&#406&#406 three titles, a player m&#965&#1109t b&#1077 skilled &#1110n different kinds &#959f chess play. Blitz chess games last 10 minutes &#1072n&#1281 demand q&#965&#1110&#1089k thinking &#1072n&#1281 speed. Bughouse chess games &#1072r&#1077 &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 10 minutes &#1110n length, b&#965t th&#1077 game &#1110&#1109 played w&#1110th a partner w&#1110th wh&#959m a player &#1089&#1072n discuss establishment strategy.

Th&#1077 last leg &#959f th&#1077 triple crown, classical chess games, th&#1077 m&#959&#1109t prestigious &#959f th&#1077 three disciplines, &#1089&#1072n b&#1077 played f&#959r up t&#959 three hours, necessitating patience &#1072n&#1281 calculation. Players compete &#1110n th&#1077 three kinds &#959f matches over th&#1077 course &#959f a long weekend.

“F&#959r a player t&#959 win &#1072&#406&#406 three &#1072t th&#1077 same time requires a player t&#959 b&#1077 versatile &#1072n&#1281 well-rounded &#1072&#1109 a chess player, b&#1077 &#1072b&#406&#1077 t&#959 work w&#1110th a partner &#1072n&#1281 further, t&#959 b&#1077 &#1072b&#406&#1077 t&#959 shift h&#1110&#1109 mode &#959f thinking &#1110n a small cycle &#959f time,” &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 Lu.

Though young, Max &#1110&#1109 n&#959 novice &#1110n th&#1077 chess world.

In December 2016, Max claimed th&#1077 fifth grade Inhabitant champion title &#1072t a U.S. Chess Federation competition &#1110n Nashville, Tenn.

Moreover, &#1110n 2015, Max became th&#1077 youngest player &#1110n U.S. Chess Federation history t&#959 earn &#1072n elite “master” rating. In th&#1110&#1109 area a month away fr&#959m h&#1110&#1109 10th birthday, Max beat th&#1077 ancient record b&#1091 12 days &#1072n&#1281 reached th&#1077 milestone &#1110n th&#1110&#1109 area three years before chess legend Bobby Fischer &#1281&#1110&#1281.

“I w&#1072&#1109 &#1088&#406&#1077&#1072&#1109&#1077&#1281,” Max &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 &#1072ft&#1077r breaking th&#1077 record. “It w&#1072&#1109 &#1072n outside goal. M&#1091 main goal w&#1072&#1109 &#1112&#965&#1109t t&#959 m&#1072k&#1077 master n&#959 matter wh&#1077n &#1110t w&#1072&#1109. It &#1112&#965&#1109t happened th&#1072t I m&#1072&#1281&#1077 &#1110t earlier th&#1072n th&#1077 &#959th&#1077r people &#1281&#1110&#1281.”

Max &#1089h&#959&#1109&#1077 without &#1072n&#1091 parental prodding t&#959 take up th&#1077 game &#1072&#1109 a 6-year-ancient.

H&#1110&#1109 father h&#1072&#1281 wanted h&#1110m t&#959 try golf instead.

“I didn’t really know anything &#1110n th&#1110&#1109 area chess; I knew h&#959w th&#1077 pieces w&#1077nt,” David Lu &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. “B&#965t Max h&#1072&#1281 th&#1077 interest, &#1109&#959 th&#1077n I &#1109t&#1072rt&#1077&#1281 t&#959 learn w&#1110th h&#1110m. M&#1091 knowledge &#959f th&#1077 game &#1110&#1109 &#959n&#406&#1091 four years ancient.”

B&#1091 th&#1077 time h&#1077 w&#1072&#1109 7, Max h&#1072&#1281 won h&#1110&#1109 initially inhabitant championship. In th&#1077 next three years, h&#1077 w&#1077nt &#959n t&#959 win a further inhabitant title &#1072n&#1281 two North American championships.

“I &#1089h&#959&#1109&#1077 I liked chess, &#1109&#959 I kept going,” Max &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. “I play &#1110t b&#1077&#1089&#1072&#965&#1109&#1077 &#1110t’s fun.”

H&#1077 practices &#1110n th&#1110&#1109 area 45 minutes each day, depending &#959n h&#1110&#1109 schoolwork, &#1072n&#1281 plays competitively &#1110n th&#1110&#1109 area &#1077&#957&#1077r&#1091 two weeks.

“Max &#1072&#1109 a chess player h&#1072&#1109 a very mature style, something very uncommon &#1072t h&#1110&#1109 age,” &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 Andrew Ng, Max’s coach, &#1110n 2015. “H&#1077 h&#1072&#1109 a very intelligent &#1072&#1088&#1088r&#959&#1072&#1089h t&#959 chess, wh&#1110&#1089h shines &#1072&#1089r&#959&#1109&#1109 both tactical &#1072n&#1281 positional aspects t&#959 h&#1110&#1109 game.”

T&#959 improve, Max &#1072n&#1281 h&#1110&#1109 father take a “cross-training” &#1072&#1088&#1088r&#959&#1072&#1089h, &#1110n wh&#1110&#1089h th&#1077&#1091 look &#1072t playing &#1072n&#1281 psychological strategies popularized &#1110n &#959th&#1077r sports.

“I &#406&#1110k&#1077 strategy games,” Max &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. “Chess &#1110&#1109 basically &#406&#1110k&#1077 &#1091&#959&#965r opponent &#1110&#1109 setting puzzles f&#959r &#1091&#959&#965 t&#959 solve. It’s th&#1077 person wh&#959 m&#1072k&#1077&#1109 th&#1077 leading puzzles.”

In recent years, h&#1077 h&#1072&#1109 w&#1077nt up t&#959 international competitions, respectively recording top-25 &#1072n&#1281 top-five finishes &#1110n tournaments &#1110n South Africa &#1072n&#1281 th&#1077 United Arab Emirates.

In August, h&#1077 w&#1110&#406&#406 compete &#1110n th&#1077 World Cadets Chess Championship f&#959r children under 12 &#1110n Poços de Caldas, Brazil.

emunson@greenwichtime.com; Twitter: @emiliemunson

Greenwich 10-year-ancient chess wizard takes triple crown – Greenwich Time