I was born in California in 1990, but I grew up in Hong Kong (where my parents, both scientists, had obtained teaching positions). My mother is a Chinese geneticist and my father is a British agriculturist; they met as postdocs in a lab at UC Davis. My chess career has brought me to all corners of the globe, and I have spent extended periods of time living in Eastern Europe (primarily in Romania, Hungary, and Russia). Nonetheless, Hong Kong remained my home until I moved back to the United States to attend Wellesley College in 2009. After eight years living in New England (first Massachusetts and now Connecticut for graduate school), the US feels like home--although I still miss the warm weather and spicy food of my childhood in the subtropics. Needless to say, answering the question "where are you from?" is complicated.

My dad taught me to play chess when I was nine years old, and I quickly became hooked on the game. Within a few months, I won the local championship in my age group; within a few years, I competed internationally on a regular basis, representing Hong Kong and subsequently England in high-level competitions. Some highlights from my chess career include:

  • At the age of 14, I earned the titles of Woman Grandmaster (WGM) and FIDE Master (FM), conferred by the World Chess Federation (Fédération Internationale des Échecs). I set the record for youngest ever US-born Woman Grandmaster in chess history. 

  • I won four Hong Kong Championships (2004, 2005, 2006, and 2008), three British Junior Championships (2002, 2003, 2004), and an Asian Youth Championship (2004).

  • I represented England at the 2013 European Team Chess Championships in Warsaw and the 2012 World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul; formerly, I represented Hong Kong at the 2004, 2006, and 2008 Olympiads.

Since 2009, my focus has shifted to academics, but I remain passionate about chess. In 2013, I graduated from Wellesley College summa cum laude with a B.A. in Russian and Philosophy. In 2017, I received an M.A. and M.Phil from Yale University in Slavic Languages and Literatures (specializing in Russian). 

I have extensive teaching experience both as a chess coach and as a language and literacy instructor. I have taught students ranging in age from 5 to 75, individually and in groups, in person and online. Whether you have a concrete short-term goal (make it to your school chess team!) or a more abstract long-term goal (understand and appreciate the strategic intricacies of chess...), I can customize a learning plan that will help you achieve your objectives--and have fun in the process!

Competing at the European Team Chess Championship in Warsaw in 2013.

On summer days you may find me playing blitz chess in the park. 

One of my more memorable "opponents"--a baby elephant in Thailand! Picture taken while I was taking part in the 2007 Bangkok Chess Club Open tournament in Phuket.

Copyright © 2017

Anya Corke Allen