What is the Warren Junior Program?

GM Mesgen Amanov analyzes games with ICA Warren Scholars

The Warren Program was founded over 30 years ago by former ICA President Helen Warren.

The mission of the Warren Junior Scholar Program is to discover and develop the highest-potential youth chess players in Illinois, in order to be competitive on a national and international stage.

Players chosen for the Warren program have innate talent, and the intensive mentoring provided by the program gives them opportunity and reason to work hard. Through in-depth study and competition in chess, students acquire skills and habits that prepare them to succeed in many fields as adults, including high-level analytical thinking and problem-solving skills, discipline, perseverance, responsible decision-making and the ability to overcome setbacks and learn from mistakes.

In 2015, the Warren Junior Rising Stars platform was added as a talent developmental pool to identify and prepare youth players who with some nuturing may matriculate into the Scholar Program.

The current Warren Junior Program Committee consists of the following individuals:

  • Sevan A. Muradian - Program Director
  • Carl Dolson - ICA President (Executive Board Liaison)
  • Paul Carey
  • Charles Craigmile
  • IM Florin Felecan
  • Kris Harihara
  • NM Pete Karagianis
  • Badri Mangalam
  • Kevin Taylor
  • Vito Vitkauskas



Warren Scholar Back-to-School Seminar

GM Gurevich teaches at Warren Scholar seminarChicago's Whitney Young High School and its chess coach Paul Kash played host to nineteen talented chess players who came from the city and suburbs to attend an intensive one-day training seminar with Grandmasters Dmitry Gurevich and Nikola Mitkov.  The seminar was organized by the ICA Warren Junior Scholar program, whose mission is to provide instruction and support for the state's top youth chess players.  Players at the all-day workshop ranged in age from 10 to 17, and in rating from 1500 to over 2200.  Thanks to the instructors and to Mr. Kash for making the event a success.  More photos can be found here.

Warren Scholars and Chicago Industrial Chess League Summer Match

Jack Xiao and Norm Hughes Twelve Warren Scholars and twelve members of the Chicago Industrial Chess League braved flooded roads and horrendous traffic Saturday, July 24 to play a match at the Wheaton Public Library. Each Warren Scholar played one G90 game with a higher-rated CICL member, with an average rating difference of 143 points per board.  Despite being outrated, the Warren Scholars came pretty close to snagging the match, winding up with 5.5 points to the CICL's 6.5 points.

GM Mesgen Amanov was on hand to provide game analysis afterwards, aided by Warren Scholar NM Eric Rosen, and CICL NM Steven Tennant (who also played Board 1 for CICL).

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Bring the Warren Scholars to your Community Event

The program also aims to promote chess in the community. For the past four years, the Warren Chess Scholars have been invited by the Chicago Mayor’s Office of Special Events to participate in the annual Taste of Chicago festival in Grant Park.

The Warren Scholars are also available to participate in other community events. They are a great attraction at neighborhood festivals, company picnics, business grand openings, or other special events. For information on how you can bring the Warren Scholars to your community event, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

NM Rosen Wins Denker, Xu wins Girls Invitational

NM Eric RosenPenny XuPhotos: Betsy Dynako

NM Eric Rosen and Penny Xu both emerged as winners in two prestigious events this weekend, Rosen in the Illinois high school Denker qualifier which wrapped up Monday and Xu in the state girls invitational which ended Sunday. Rosen, a sophomore at Niles North High School in Skokie, will go on to be the Illinois representative in the National Denker Tournament of High School Champions in Irvine, California this summer. Xu, a seventh grader from Champaign, would have been named the Illinois representative to the National Polgar invitational, but itʼs been announced that the tournament is being replaced this year by a five-day intensive training session, so she plans to attend both the Kasparov Girls Open in Columbus, Ohio next month and the National Girls Open in Irvine this summer.

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Warren Scholars attend GM Seminar

About 25 talented chess players from throughout the Chicago metropolitan area are brimming with new knowledge after participating an intensive day of study on Sunday, Feb. 28, with three of Chicago's grandmasters.

The instructors included grandmasters Nikola Mitkov, Dmitry Gurevich and Mesgen Amanov, the state's second, third, and fourth ranked players respectively, who put together a day of lectures tailored to the students' needs. Students ranged in age from 6 to 17 and in rating from about 1150 to over 2200, and were divided by rating into three groups. The modest tuition fee covered about 60 percent of the cost for the day, and the ICA Warren Junior Program contributed the remainder.

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2010 ICA Warren Junior Scholar Recipients Announced

Congratulations to 36 talented youth chess players across the state who were named as ICA 2010 Warren Junior Chess Scholars.   The group of players includes 30 boys and 6 girls, ranging in age from 6 to 17.  For nine of the students, this is the first time they’ve received the honor, which has been given annually since 2006.  To qualify, the students needed to be among the top-ranked youth chess players for their age in the country.

Warren Scholars receive their awards at the 2010 K8 championshipMost of the eight high school students among this year’s Warren Scholars were present to receive special recognition for the honor at the awards ceremony of the Illinois high school team championships on February 13.  The 28 elementary students will receive their awards at the state K8 championships that will be held in St. Charles the weekend of March 13-14.  A letter is also being sent to each student’s school principal about this special achievement.

The ICA Warren Scholar program provides some funding for individual instruction, and arranges group instruction with high-level masters and grandmasters to further develop the players talents and help them be competitive on a national stage.  All 2010 Warren Scholars have been invited to participate in a special group seminar on Sunday, February 28 with Grandmasters Dmitry Gurevich, Nikola Mitkov and Mesgen Amanov.  The Warren Scholar program also sponsors two competitive invitational tournaments for the state’s top high school and top female players, and provides funding for the winners to travel to national competitions.

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Congratulations to the 2009 Warren Junior Scholars

Age 7 and under:
William Radak 
Jack Xiao       
Michael Rhodes 
Matthew J. Stevens 
Chetan Baddam Reddy
Vincent Do 

Age 8:
James Wei 
Alex Bian   
George Li   
Anshul Adve   
Jack Curcio   
Haoyang Yu   

Age 9:

Conrad Oberhaus   
Bryce McClanahan   
Ian Gilchrist       
Sonam Ford       

Age 10:
Zachary Holecek

Age 11:
Gavin McClanahan   

Age 12:
Sam Schmakel

Age 14:
Josh Dubin       
Jason Chien   

Age 15:
Eric Rosen       
Michael Auger

Age 16:
Trevor Magness   
Zach Kasiurak

Age 17:
Ilan Meerovich   
Gordon Ruan   
Gopal Menon

Age 18:
Tony Cao       
James Pavese   

Girls Under 13:
Penny Xu       
Victoria Bian       
Caeley Harihara   

Girls Under 16:
Sonya Vohra       
Adele Padgett