The past few rounds have been heartbreaking for me and the USA team. I am seeing incredible starts simply fall apart with a string of losses. Hopefully they could pull it together in the last few rounds.
Under 8 Open
This section's USA heartbreak is probably Tan Nguyen, who is falling back after a great start. Christopher Shen is clearly in superhuman form. One of my picks for a great result, Joaquin Perkins, has come out of nowhere to be near the top of the list.
Under 8 Girls
Aasa was doing incredibly until a round 8 loss, but will still get a medal I'm sure!
Under 10 Open
This is the most heartbreaking section, with Praveen Balakrishnan getting 1/4 in the last 4 rounds after a 4/4 start. Previous year's Under 8 Open Champion Awonder Liang bounced back from a mediocre start with a round 8 win. Trung Nguyen lost 2 in a row. With challengers dropping like flies, you have to give credit to Aravind Kumar, who is Steady Eddie in this so far. He will surely put on a finishing spurt and get in the top 10. Awonder has been here before and will also do great in the end. I can only hope Praveen will do the same, but such a traumatic last few rounds must scar him. I am so thankful that the penultimate and final rounds are on Saturday and Sunday, so I can watch the drama unfold fully since there is no school. Go USA!
Under 10 Open
Jennifer Yu won the last 5 in a row. She will get a medal I believe. If it is gold, well, we shall see.
Under 12 Open
Boy, I have a lot to talk about here. First the heartbreaks. Nicolas Checa was perfect 4/4 until he went loss,draw,loss. However, he is still doing quite well. Kevin Moy was 3/4 until he went loss,draw,loss,loss. This is quite unfortunate as ShadowKnight911 really is a great player. He will win the last 3 in a row and have a great result. When it happens, don't say I didn't call it! The star right now, of course, is Cameron Wheeler. Since a second round loss, he has won 6 straight and is tied for the lead. If he holds on for the next couple of rounds for the gold, it will be the biggest World Youth success in history. (If you are reading this Cameron, sorry if I just pressured you!) Since this is also probably the strongest section in World Youth history,(I mean, you have USA players like Sam Sevian, Jeffery Xiong, Bryce Tiglon, Vignesh Panchantham, Jonathan Chiang, Roland Feng, John Ludwig, Joshua Sheng, Craig Hilby, Nicolas Checa, Tommy O He, etc etc etc etc. And if all the invited players actually went, it would be an astronomically strong section.) I can't wait to see how this section will turn out. Post who you're betting on! I'm not making any predictions, because really anything can happen. Samuel Sevian was in fact leading until he lost in round 8, allowing Cameron and Sam's opponent to take the lead.
Tommy O He-4.5
Under 12 Girls
The heartbreak here is Maggie Feng, who started with 3.5/4 but only got 0.5 out of the last 3 rounds. Ashritha is USA's best hope in the section to win a medal.
Under 14 Open
Everyone in this section is doing great, most notably Kayden Troff, with real medal chances heading into the last few rounds. He needs 2.5 out of 3 in the last 3 rounds to have any chance. Justus and Kapil need to go 3 for 3 to have any shot at a medal. So they better play for wins!
Under 14 Girls
This section's heartbreak is Kimberly Ding. After a 4/4 start she went 0/3 in rounds 5-7, but managed to break that streak with a draw in round 8. That is a good sign that she could hopefully pull herself together and finish strong. Agata was doing great until a round 8 loss, and now must go at least 2.5/3 to finish with a shot at a medal.
Under 16 Open
No medal chances
Under 16 Girls
Sarah Chiang must finish perfectly to have medal chances.
Under 18 Open
Maybe William Fisher can get an with a great finish.
Under 18 Girls