Wed. Sep 28th, 2022


NM Griffin McConnell earned the nationwide grasp title on March 19, 2022, on the age of 17, after present process 4 mind surgical procedures. Regardless of struggling seizures and present process a number of operations since childhood – even after numerous medicine failed to assist – he grew to become a chess specialist on the age of 13 (US nationwide score: 2000), the 2019 FIDE Confederations Cup for Folks with Disabilities was one of the best participant. A rating of 4/4 the next 12 months, and is at the moment within the high 99.3 percentile for juniors (beneath 21) in the US.

After the Colorado teen lived as much as his personal expectations, he and his household now work to encourage and supply alternatives for different chess gamers with disabilities.

Griffin McConnell, star of the Griffin’s Gambit documentary. Photograph: Chandler Tofa.

One of many main challenges to McConnell’s improvement of chess, as Fox Information just lately reported, “was to re-learn virtually every part, together with how you can play chess—one thing he was adamant about conducting. ” Regardless of the difficulties, his love for chess by no means waned, and he was in a position to obtain one of many highest titles provided by the US Chess Federation.

A younger Griffin McConnell together with his mom.


A 12 months in the past, he shared with Chess.com (within the 2021 documentary beneath) that one in all his largest idols was GM Thomas Luther, who has dysmelia. Of the disabled grandmaster, McConnell mentioned: “To me, I wish to be like Thomas Luther,” a participant who has achieved the best title in chess and who evokes folks with disabilities.

McConnell’s achievements have actually been acknowledged by the bigger chess neighborhood. Within the Chess.com documentary, he had the chance to talk with GM Hikaru Nakamura. When his father knowledgeable him, he mentioned: “It is loads of strain on me! I really like Hikaru—I am his largest fan!”

Nakamura and McConnell chat on Zoom.

Their father is internet hosting the first-ever American Chess Cup for youngsters with disabilities, which can happen June 21-26 this 12 months, with Chess.com contributing $25,000. The occasion is organized by ChessAbilities Inc., a non-profit group between Chess.com and ChessKid.com. results of a partnership with In its first version, the annual occasion will probably be held on the Embassy Suites Denver Tech Heart North in Denver, Colorado. Open to all disabled youngsters and younger adults dwelling in Mexico, Canada and the US, the occasion will probably be US chess-rated.

Following this primary occasion, Mr McConnell plans to proceed the match into 2023 and supply a chess camp for college kids with disabilities after the occasion.

Griffin’s mantra has been, “When it will get robust, I work tougher,” which is one thing he is mentioned at any time when he has a tricky match consequence or will get caught at a sure score. He additionally recommended different disabled gamers to be very affected person in out-of-state chess tournaments with match organizers who might not perceive how you can accommodate their wants.

comply with the journey

It’s also possible to get updates on Griffin’s life via this Fb group.

What do you consider Griffin’s story and achievements? Tell us within the feedback beneath!



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