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Saturday WOW Standings

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Overall Winner: Steve Bange 4/4

U1800: Jacob Wilkins 4/4

U1400: Jacinda Lee 3/4

Biggest Upset: Jacinda Lee, 571 pts

Youngest Player with a Win: Ronan Townes, 6yo

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The Match with Ray Robson

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I am going to write a long three-part blog for my readers who missed me this Spring. I was quite busy with the following:

Part 1 - Match with Ray Robson

Part 2 - Chicago Open

Part 3 - National Open

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Young Clinches U.S. Junior Championship

[imagefield_assist|fid=10540|preset=fullsize|lightbox=true|title=NM Gregory Young sits with GM Ben Finegold after his round two victory over FM John Bryant.|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=700|height=467]

By Ken West

Gregory Young is the 2011 U.S. Junior Champion, taking the title with a win Friday before the final round of play even began.

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Young in Control at U.S. Junior Championship

[imagefield_assist|fid=10513|preset=fullsize|title=Gregory Young, right, solidified his place at the top of the leaderboard at the U.S. Junior Championship.|desc=|link=none|origsize=|align=left|width=700|height=467]By Ken West

SAINT LOUIS, June 24, 2011 -- With just two rounds remaining, Gregory Young stands alone at the top of the crosstables with a score of 6/7 in the U.S. Junior Closed Championship at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.

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Young Retakes Lead at U.S. Junior Championship

[imagefield_assist|fid=10501|preset=fullsize|lightbox=true|title=After a round 6 draw, IM Daniel Naroditsky was unable to keep pace with tourney leader NM Gregory Young.|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=700|height=467]By Ken West

SAINT LOUIS, June 23, 2011 -- Alec Getz pushed d5 in response to John Bryant’s e4 and went on to win his fourth point Wednesday to move into third at the U.S. Junior Closed Championship at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.

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Young Falters, Naroditsky Wins to Pull Even at U.S. Junior

[imagefield_assist|fid=10493|preset=fullsize|lightbox=true|title=Alec Getz handed Gregory Young his first loss of the tournament in round five.|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=700|height=467]


By Ken West

SAINT LOUIS, June 22, 2011 -- Alec Getz handed Gregory Young his first loss in the U.S. Junior Closed Championship Tuesday, and Daniel Naroditsky won his game against Warren Harper to pull even with Young at 4 points.

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Slugfest Continues at U.S. Junior Champs

[imagefield_assist|fid=10452|preset=fullsize|lightbox=true|title=GM Garry Kasparov, widely recognized as the greatest player in the history of chess, analyzes games from round two of the U.S. Junior Championship with GM Ben Finegold.|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=700|height=467]

By Ken West

Round 2

Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov paid a surprise visit Friday to the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis during the second round of the U.S. Junior Closed Championship.

His presence allowed him to speak about one game in particular — National Master Gregory Young against FIDE Master John Bryant. Playing against Bryant’s Najdorf Sicilian, Young retreated his knight from d4 to f3 on move 13.

When Young made the move, Grandmaster Ben Finegold — who is providing commentary with FIDE Master Aviv Friedman — said he had not seen the move in that line before. During post-game analysis, Young said Kasparov played the line against Boris Gelfand in 1993 in Linares. Young made the comment not knowing Kasparov would make a surprise visit to the games.

Kasparov said Gelfand played the line against him again in 1994. Kasparov also played the black side in the same line. He played a5 as black, a move Bryant also played.

After Young’s e5 push, Bryant played d5.

Shown Young’s Rd4 on move 17, Kasparov smiled and said, “Nice!”

“This is very risky play by both,” Finegold said during the game. “I predict no draw here.”

His prediction proved true as the game ended on move 38 with Young taking the full point. An oddity of the final position: Bryant had both rooks on the seventh.

“It looks like Bryant got a taste of his own medicine today,” Friedman said, talking about Young’s attacking play. Bryant won the day before with a knight sacrifice on f7.


GM Kasparov also commented on the other games.

In those games, FM Warren Harper beat International Master Conrad Holt to keep pace with Young at two points each.

In the other games, NM Kayden Troff won with the black pieces against NM Raven Sturt; IM Daniel Naroditsky beat FM Alec Getz; and FM Victor Shen topped NM Jialin Ding.

In the Sturt-Troff match, Friedman said Sturt could have secured a draw with a queen trade. After the game, Sturt said he saw the move but rejected it.

“I’m in it to win it,” he said.

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Fighting Chess in Round One of Junior Championship

[imagefield_assist|fid=10422|preset=fullsize|title=FM John Bryant utilized a piece sacrifice to bust open FM Victor Shen's kingside en route to a round one victory.|desc=|link=none|origsize=|align=left|width=700|height=467]

By Ken West

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Nakamura Searches for Fischer's Record

[imagefield_assist|fid=10407|preset=fullsize|lightbox=true|title=GM Hikaru Nakamura sits in front of the Wall of Fame at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=700|height=467]

GM Hikaru Nakamura once again will take on the world's best at the Bazna Kings tournament in Romania June 11-22. Nakamura needs eight points to break Bobby Fischer's record as the highest FIDE-rated American chess player ever. Fischer's highest-ever published Elo rating is 2785 and Nakamura's current Elo rating is 2777.2. 

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