Saturday, June 14

Good Luck to Gregory Young in the US Junior

(This photo of most of the participants in the US Junior and US Cadet Championships was posted on the official website. Four of the five US Junior players stand at the left side: Daniel Yeager, Edward Lu, Tyler Hughes and Gregory Young.)

San Francisco's own Gregory Young is playing in the US Junior Championship in Lindsborg, Kansas beginning today. He was originally set to play in the concurrent US Cadet (U16) Championship, but when he received the second invitation, he jumped ship. Both events will take place at the Anatoly Karpov International School of Chess on June 14-18. The details have not all been sorted out yet, but instead of the usual 10-player round-robin, this year's US Junior will be a 5-player double round-robin. Yes, only five players came to Kansas for this once-prestigious national championship. Here's the field:
  1. FM Daniel Yeager, 2373, age 16 from Pennsylvania
  2. NM Tyler Hughes, 2264, age 17 from Colorado
  3. NM Edward Lu, 2227, age 16 from Virginia
  4. NM Gregory Young, 2213, age 13 from California
  5. Bradley Sawyer, 2192, age 19 from Texas
Clearly, the ratings favorite is Daniel Yeager. However, some of the other players are significantly underrated, particularly Tyler Hughes. Although this is the weakest ever field for the US Junior, it is no walk in the park and any person can beat anyone else. For a controversial preview by FM Robby Adamson, including an honest discussion of why so many talented juniors skipped this year's event, visit Chess Life Online and make sure to read the comments at the end of the article. Even after this article was written, one of the invitees, Chris Williams of Massachusetts, dropped out because he never booked a flight!?

Since there is an odd number of participants, Gregory has the bye for round 1. He is currently playing a training game against 11 year old FM Darwin Yang, the heavy favorite of the concurrent US Cadet (U16) Championship (the player list is the same minus Gregory). Tonight, Gregory has white against Edward Lu. Unfortunately, I have not yet found any live coverage on the internet.

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