Shawnak Shivakumar, an 8-year-old third grader at Laurel School Upper Campus in Menlo Park, is the new third-grade California state champion chess player.
Shawnak won a CalChess (part of the United States Chess Federation) tournament at the Alameda County Fairgrounds on Dec. 4.
Shawnak has been playing chess only since the summer of 2014 and participated in his first tournament a year later. He is one of the top 15 eight-year-olds nationally.
He lives in Menlo Park with his parents, Shiva and Devleena Shivakumar.