Awonder Liang is one of the most impressive chess prodigies in recent history. He holds a number of records including youngest ever to defeat an International Master, youngest to defeat a Grandmaster, youngest American to achieve a master rating, and youngest American to achieve the International Master rating.
Other achievements include winning the U8 Open world title (2011), U10 Open world title (2013), tying for first at the 2011 U-8 World Youth Chess Championship, achieving a GM Norm at the 2016 Continental Championships, and placing second in the 2016 U.S. Junior Closed Championship. He enters this tournament having recently dominated Group B of the Spring Classic tournament, held in Saint Louis in May 2017, with a score of 7.5/9. He earned another GM Norm at that event.