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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.

Troff Trounces, Sicilians Stomped in Round 2 of U.S. Junior Closed

SAINT LOUIS (June 22, 2014) -- Historically, the Sicilian defense may be known as one of the best-scoring responses to the 1. e4 attack. But not today.

In the second round of the 2014 U.S. Junior Closed Championship, four out of five games saw black answering in the classic resistance, though white was able to smash through all but one. Saturday brought another decision-filled afternoon, with just a single draw -- the first of the tournament through 10 games -- as the Najdorf by FM Arthur Shen held up against FM Michael Bodek.

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GM Kayden Troff looks to be in top form through the first two rounds of the 2014 U.S. Junior Closed Championship.

Big Wins for Williams, Colas in First Round of U.S. Junior Champs

SAINT LOUIS (June 21, 2014) -- A day of decisive results marked the opening round of the 2014 U.S. Junior Closed Championship, the national title for players under 21, with all five matches finding their way to victory.

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Justus Williams Chess

Nation's Top Juniors Prepare for Title Fight in Saint Louis

SAINT LOUIS (June 19, 2014) -- The 2014 U.S. Junior Closed Championship, the national title fight for players under 21, held its opening ceremonies on Thursday night at the host Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. The ceremony marked the fifth consecutive year the event has been held at the iconic midwest venue, which has given away over $1M in prizes in hosting the trifecta of American title events - including the U.S. and Women’s Championships - since opening in 2008.

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Sam Sevian is just one GM norm away from shattering the record as the youngest-ever grandmaster in U.S. history. (Paul Morigi/AP Images)

Juniors Help Congress at Capitol Hill Tourney

Members of the Congressional Chess Caucus Competed to Highlight the Educational Benefits of Chess 

WASHINGTON D.C. (June 19, 2014) – Members of the newly formed Congressional Chess Caucus competed in the first Congressional Chess Tournament to promote the game’s educational benefits, and they had a little help from some of the nation’s top junior chess players. 

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Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA) and Garry Kasparov watch as Jeffrey Xiong and Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) make their next move at the first-ever Congressional Chess Match in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/AP)

On Chess: World Contender Must Wait To Play For U.S. Team

This article was originally published on on June 11.

They say good things come to those who wait. Unfortunately, that’s shaping up to be true.

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wesley so chess webster university

Young Stars to Vie for U.S. Junior Closed Title

SAINT LOUIS (June 11, 2014) -- Ten of the top young chess players in the United States will compete in the 2014 U.S. Junior Closed Championship June 19-29 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL).But there’s more than just the title on the line. The winner also will receive the $3,000 top prize and, more importantly, an automatic invitation to the 2015 U.S. Championship.

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jeffrey xiong

On Chess: Circus Flora Plays Both Sides Of The Board

This article was originally published on on June 4.

The word circus conjures several interpretations, a different idea according to every one’s experience. Many of those definitions, as Circus Flora teaches us, can brilliantly oppose each other in both harmony and balance – and that the chess player can appreciate.

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