New Scholastic Chess Ambassador category introduced this year

The US Chess Federation (US Chess) and the US Chess Trust, both independent 501(c)(3) organizations, are pleased to announce seven recipients of the 2022 Scholar-Chessplayer Awards. This includes the winners of a new category, Scholastic Chess Ambassador, which permits acknowledgement of lower-rated but deserving chess scholars.

The Scholar-Chessplayer Awards recognize and encourage outstanding high school juniors and seniors who promote a positive image of chess, while excelling in academics and leadership. A total of $9,000 in scholarship money is being awarded this year. Each recipient will receive $1,500, but as the category of Scholastic Chess Ambassador resulted in a tie, each Ambassador is thus receiving a $750 scholarship.

All Scholar-Chessplayer Awards are funded through the US Chess Trust (USCT), with a significant contribution from the National Scholastic Chess Foundation (NSCF). The USCT’s vision is that one day, every American, from schoolkid to senior citizen, will have the opportunity to learn chess and enjoy its many mental and social benefits.

Thank you also to the US Chess scholastic committee members who reviewed and evaluated all the applications.

2022 Scholar-Chessplayers

GM Andrew Hong: junior, Saratoga, California, age 17

FM Robert Shlyakhtenko, junior, Los Angeles, California, age 16

FM Vincent Tsay: junior, Manhasset, New York, age 17

IM Justin Wang: junior, Katy, Texas, age 16

Kevin Xu: junior, Overland Park, Kansas, age 16


Scholastic Chess Ambassadors

Nikolaus Peter Garcia: senior, El Paso, Texas, age 18

Madeline Libby Weber: senior, Mequon, Wisconsin, age 18

To qualify, applicants must be US Chess members who satisfy these requirements:

  1. Play at least 25 regular-rated US Chess or FIDE games during the current academic year;
  2. Show outstanding achievement in academics and chess (Scholastic Chess Ambassadors are not required to be highly rated);
  3. Have completed at least one year of chess-related community service since starting the ninth grade;
  4. Describe in an essay of 500 words how being selected as a 2022 Scholar-Chessplayer will enable the recipient to further their education, improve their chess, and allow them to continue contributing to the chess community.

Congratulations to all the 2022 Scholar-Chessplayers!

US Chess, US Chess Trust Trustee, Beatriz Marinello and VP of Scholastic Chess, Sunil Weeramantry were on hand to capture the beginning of the awards ceremony at the 2022 National High School Championship in Memphis, TN.