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The Showdown in Motown

Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura and his dad, Sunil Weeramantry went to Detroit where Hikaru took on the Mighty Members of the Detroit City Chess Club. The 50 board simul was held on August 21, 2015 at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The club is part of Young Thinkers Detroit, an organization formed to encourage children and teens to excel academically by offering programs in arts, language, fitness and leadership as well as chess.

While the focus of the weekend was definitely on Hikaru and the simul, behind the scenes, Sunil and Detroit program director Kevin Fite discussed the NSCF teacher training initiative and outlined more ways we can work together to increase the role of chess in education in Detroit. After the event, Director Fite wrote this note to us:

“The kids in the Detroit truly had a grand time with Grandmaster Hikura Nakamura. In fact, it was the longest standing ovation I have ever witnessed in the chess community. He was treated like a rock star here. Our Detroit Chess family was truly honored to have GM Nakamura in our great city. He was very open and inviting to the kids which made everyone feel comfortable approaching him for autographs and pictures afterwards. I am truly humbled and appreciative to Sunil Weeramantry and the National Scholastic Chess Foundation for helping us secure GM Nakamuri’s visit.”  – Kevin Fite, Founder of the Detroit City Chess Club.

Kevin also sent along a note he received: “As a parent, I watched the excitement in the faces of young Detroit thinkers, eager to meet and play, Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura. Ranking 1st in the US, 2nd in the world, to them, he’s their champion, a real MVP! As a part of the staff, we discovered how warm and pleasant he and his family are. Truly, it was our pleasure to host such great people. – Catherine Martinez, chess parent & Young Thinkers Board member.

You can read a feature article and see more photos from the weekend by visiting

The Showdown in Motown


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