Steven Zierk Featured in San Jose Mercury News

Zierk was recently crowned World U18 Champion

When Steven Zierk was just 8, he was called a chess prodigy, a child whose talents at calculations and competition were beyond his years.

Around his hometown of Los Gatos, the shy little boy with spiky blond hair was known as “that chess kid.” Expectations were endless. How far could he go? Would he stick with it?

Well, now, a decade later — and after a five-year hiatus that crushed his coach and relieved his mother — the 17-year-old Los Gatos High School senior has stormed back with a world championship gold medal he brought home from Greece over the weekend.

“It’s huge,” he said Monday from his family home, where his mother and two younger sisters had filled his room with 300 gold balloons. “I went in expecting just to play, to do well. The Top 10 was my goal. So obviously, it’s a great surprise.”

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Several brief video interviews with Steven Zierk in Porto Carras, Halkidiki, can be found in the WYCC video section

Steven Zierk

Steven Zierk

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