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On Chess: Triple Crowns Bestowed In St. Louis, Carlsen May Return

This article originally appeared on on July 2.

The Triple Crown of chess is complete, in more ways than one.

Just this past week, Grandmaster Kayden Troff, 16, snagged the U.S. Junior Closed Championship crown after nine rounds of fierce competition against the top players under 21 in the nation. Troff finished the event in style, winning his final four games to finish a point and a half ahead of the rest of the field.

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kayden troff Kayden Troff with Tony Rich, of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

Beginner Breakdown with Mike Kummer (Back-Rank Checkmate)

Mike Kummer presents a lecture for chess beginners on how to recognize, avoid and execute back-rank checkmate

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March in the 4th of July Parade!

The Chess Club is participating in the VP Parade that is going to be held in Forest Park this Friday, 4th of July.

We are excited to be a participant and will be having volunteers walking alongside the famous Chess Club Van.

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GM Troff Wins Junior Closed Championship

SAINT LOUIS (June 30, 2014) -- When in doubt, just win out.

GM Kayden Troff, the 16-year-old phenom out of Utah, has won the 2014 U.S. Junior Closed Championship in clear first with an impressive 7/9 score, grabbing the national championship for players under 21 by finishing 1.5 points ahead of the field. For his efforts, Troff has won the top prize of $3,000, as well as an invitation to the 2015 U.S. Championship.

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Kayden Troff defeated Matt Larson in the final round to win the 2014 U.S. Junior Closed Championship.

Pivotal Matchups Await 2014 U.S. Junior Closed Finale

SAINT LOUIS (June 29, 2014) -- The 2014 U.S. Junior Closed Championship has been decisive in its theme, with victories claimed on four of five boards in each of the tournament’s last four rounds -- and today seems like another good day for a fight.

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FM Michael Bodek is turning in a fantastic tournament performance and finds himself just a half point behind the leader, GM Kayden Troff, heading into the final round.

Troff on Top; Lone Grandmaster Upends Tourney Leaders

SAINT LOUIS (June 28, 2014) -- For the 2014 U.S. Junior Closed, GM Kayden Troff decided to change up his tournament strategy -- on the only day he didn’t play chess.

The top seed of the event began his 2014 campaign claiming the expected headlines after taking an early lead in the standings, but then his focus seemed to waver. Back-to-back draws made him momentarily fall out of the limelight and then, literally, the worst: A loss to FM Michael Bodek -- and on the day before the break.

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IM Luke Harmon Vellotti fell to GM Kayden Troff in round 6, and then Troff followed that up with a victory over tourney leader IM Jeffrey Xiong (not pictured) in round 7.

Xiong, Troff Matchup Looms Large in Round 7

SAINT LOUIS (June 27, 2014) -- The 2014 U.S. Junior Closed Championship is a round-robin event, now with a Swiss-system flavor.

Leaders have begun to collide in the late rounds of the U21 national championship, as several predetermined pairings through the tournament’s homestretch are proving favorable toward the Swiss theme.

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IM Jeffrey Xiong still leads the field with a score of 4.5/6, but faces his toughest test in round 7 agaisnt GM Kayden Troff.

Upsets Shuffle Standings at Junior Closed Halfway Point

SAINT LOUIS (June 25, 2014) -- The bottom’s up in round 5 of the 2014 U.S. Junior Closed Championship.

Heading into the round, the standings’ top-three leaders had begun to break away, separating themselves from the rest of the field by a full point -- but on Tuesday those front-runners were suddenly reminded: Not so fast. The bottom three players in the standings combined for three points, while the top three scored just a half-point.

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Ben Finegold and Aviv Friedman interview Matt Larson after his round 5 victory over Alex Ostrovskiy.

Confident Xiong Grabs Lead at U.S. Junior Closed Championship

SAINT LOUIS (June 24, 2014) -- Experience is starting to pay dividends -- on the board and in the standings.

13-year-old IM Jeffrey Xiong, in his third Junior Closed Championship appearance, played with relaxed confidence on Monday despite leading a heavy mating assault through unclear waters. Xiong as white set the theme early with a 14. Nxe6 sacrifice, immediately exposing and launching siege on FM Arthur Shen’s uncastled king -- initiating a tension-filled game that demanded some act-like-you’ve-been-there posturing.

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Jeffrey Xiong, 13, is playing in his third U.S. Junior Closed Championship in Saint Louis.

Sevian Scores; Troff, Xiong Lead U.S. Junior Closed After 3

SAINT LOUIS (June 23, 2014) -- The U.S. Junior Closed is playing into its familiar theme: Guess what happens next.

The 2014 national championship for players under 21, which began Friday at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, kicked off with several shocker upsets and has since proven extremely decisive -- with only four draws through 15 games -- leaving the first weekend of the 9-round, round-robin event more like a sprint through a minefield.

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IM Sam Sevian, one of the pre-tournament favorites, got on the board with a victory over FM Michael Bodek in round 3.