Andy Woodward – A Wonderkid In Every Sense Of The Word


Child prodigies excelling in their chosen fields are a common sight.

But a 12-year-old IM-elect who also loves the piano… competes in math competitions… plays all sorts of ball sports… and still bonds with friends and stays active in the church?

Now that’s a true wonderkid!

Andy Woodward does it all, and we can only wonder how he finds the time and energy.

After picking up chess from a 6-in-1 board game, Andy wasted no time immersing himself into it. His parents would see him playing against himself by the window, which compelled them to sign him up for a ChessKid account.

Andy devoured all of the lessons from the popular scholastic chess site, and his commitment to training showed in his rating progression.

Rated 2454 FIDE at the time of this writing, Andy was one of the most impressive prospects to come out of the Chessable X FIDE Academy.

He’s a fearless competitor who takes on older and more experienced players with gusto.

In the 2021 National Open Championship, Andy slugged it out with veteran International Masters and Grandmasters three times his age. He scored a respectable 4.0/9 and took home over 100 rating points.

Then, in June 2022, Andy traveled over 5,000 miles to compete against other norm hopefuls in Novi Sad, Siberia.

There, he scored clear first place plus two second-place finishes in three tournaments — netting him 97.4 rating points and ultimately completing the requirements for the IM title.

Andy has a well-rounded playstyle. He’s comfortable playing for small positional advantages and grinding down slightly favorable endgames. 

But when given the chance, he goes for the throat with superb tactical play — as shown by his silent double-rook sacrifice against IM Kostya Kavutskiy in the 2022 Hollywood Chess Classic.

When asked how the Chessable X FIDE Academy has helped him, opening and tactics stood out for Andy.

“I used some Chessable courses to learn the openings and practice tactics. It made my chess training more enjoyable,” he said.

And among the instructors, GM Farrukh Amonatov and his passionate lectures motivated Andy to push through his limits.

Congratulations on your best successes yet, Andy! And we hope to see you in the next season of the academy.


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