Junior Kian Namiranian will compete in the 2020 National Open in Las Vegas, Nevada after placing high at multiple recent tournaments.
Namiranian, who is president of the San Marin Chess Club and a member of the Novato Chess Club, placed third overall at his first tournament on December 7, securing a 4-1 record. At the Mechanics’ Institute on December 28, Namiranian also earned a 4-1 record, placing him second in his division. On January 11, Namiranian placed first in his first rapid tournament in San Francisco.
In chess, tournament divisions are based on rating, not age. Namiranian holds a rating of 1100 but plans to improve as he continues attending competitions.
For Namiranian, chess is not a new hobby; his grandfather introduced him to chess when he was 6 years old. Namiranian practices chess for approximately an hour each day through his elite chess.com account, reads books about chess theory and faces off with other players of all ages at the Novato Chess club on Wednesdays.
Namiranian’s long-term goal is to earn the opportunity to meet and play against world chess champion Magnus Carlsen. He admires Carlsen’s “focus and attention to detail,” as well as Carlsen’s ability to play the previous world champion, Garry Kasparov, at the age of 13.
Namiranian hopes to grow San Marin’s chess program by securing more funding for camps and competitive opportunities. Namiranian encourages students of all abilities to participate in the club, which meets on Fridays at lunch in room 706.
Namiranian said that he has stuck with chess throughout the years because he looks up to his grandfather, his improvement has been “exponential”, and the game does not involve luck. “It is absolutely raw skill,” Namiranian said. “Two minds on a chessboard, black versus white, duking it out and whoever wins wins.”