[imagefield_assist|fid=16240|preset=fullsize|title=Sam Sevian, left, and Kayden Troff, right, each earned a gold medal at the World Youth Chess Championship in Maribor, Slovenia. Cameron Wheeler, center, won a silver medal.|desc=|link=none|origsize=|align=left|width=700|height=480]
SAINT LOUIS (November 26, 2012) -- Sam Sevian and Kayden Troff each won a gold medal at the World Youth Chess Championship, which concluded in Maribor, Slovenia, on November 18.
Sam finished first overall in the under-12 section and Kayden earned the top spot in the under-14 section. Earlier this year, both players were selected by the Kasparov Chess Foundation (KCF) to participate in an intensive training program, which started in the beginning of 2012 with a special training camp conducted by World Champion and KCF Chairman Garry Kasparov in Saint Louis in June.
The KCF and the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis established a five-year grant partnership to develop several American chess prodigies from across the nation. The program, called Young Stars - Team USA, is designed to offer extraordinarily talented children the opportunity to maximize their potential and to achieve the highest level in chess.
"Our goal is to prepare the best young players in the country for the most difficult competition in the world," Kasparov said. "Kayden and Sam prepared diligently for this event and proved they have what it takes to become the world's elite. With continued hard work and dedication, these rising stars can help lead the next generation of chess players in the U.S."
The Young Stars - Team USA program includes two training sessions with Kasparov each year, one in the summer in Saint Louis and one in the winter in New York City, and individual coaching for each participant. The winter Master Class session will take place December 14-16.
Kayden said hours of daily preparation and special training sessions with his coach GM Alex Chernin and Garry Kasparov have been key to his recent success.
“When it comes down to it, a result like this is why I spend 30-plus hours a week on chess, and I am just grateful it paid off,” Kayden said.
Because of the Young Stars program, Sam also has benefitted from special training sessions with both Kasparov and Chernin. He said the fact that he entered the tournament ranked first overall in his section put some additional pressure on him to succeed.
“Plus the fact that many of my games were available in the database prior to the tournament [meant that] opponents could prepare specific lines against me,” Sam said. “In some of the games I found myself under severe time pressure, especially with black pieces. I had to spend a lot of time at the board just to equalize.”
Sam said that in addition to continuing to fine-tune his game, he hopes to attain his third IM norm in the coming year and plans to begin competing in tournaments that offer GM norm opportunities.
Kayden, who has already achieved the three IM norms necessary for the title, said he is working on improving his FIDE rating to 2400 and trying to maintain consistency in his performances. His results and upcoming tournaments can be found at http://kaydentroff.blogspot.com/.
For more information on the KCF, visit www.kasparovchessfoundation.org.
[imagefield_assist|fid=16241|preset=fullsize|title=Kayden Troff received his award from the legendary Grandmaster Garry Kasparov.|desc=|link=none|origsize=|align=left|width=700|height=467]
About the Kasparov Chess Foundation
The Kasparov Chess Foundation offers hope to millions of U.S. students through chess education - developing a complete chess curriculum for public and private schools, from K through 12, that delivers much more than a strong end-game to students. Their in-school and extracurricular programs are designed to encourage creativity, instill self-discipline and bring hope and a feeling of accomplishment to millions of children.
The Kasparov Chess Foundation also sponsors tournaments for those students who are attracted to the competitive and social aspects of chess, while encouraging our youth to strive for higher levels of intellectual achievement. While delivering an approved in-the-school chess curricular is a primary focus for the Foundation, it is just the beginning. Delivering invaluable enrichment programs, such as after-school clubs, chess programs and awards programs, as well as a gifted program for advanced students, are all part of the bigger picture for the Foundation. More information can be found at www.kasparovchessfoundation.org.