Wednesday, July 8

Follow the US Junior Invitational

The players are ready to start! (Credit: CCSCSL)

The annual US Junior Invitational pits many of the country's top players under age 20 against each other in a 10-RR tournament.  The 2015 edition features four International Masters and four FIDE Masters.  Excluding the Junior Open qualifier, this elite field boasts an average rating of 2519 USCF!  The highest seed and clear favorite is GM-elect Jeffery Xiong, who recently earned his third and final GM norm at the Chicago Open!  Second seed IM Akshat Chandra has one GM norm to his credit.

Luke (left) battles Yian. (Credit: CCSCSL)
California chess fans can cheer for two local representatives.  Third seed IM Luke Harmon-Vellotti attends UCLA (at age 16!!) and IM Yian Liou will be a freshman at UC Berkeley next month.  Luke and Yian battled for many hours in Round 2, finally acquiescing to a draw after 120 moves.

Live coverage begins daily at 11:00am Pacific time.  Check out the running commentary by GM Ben Finegold and FM Aviv Friedman Excellent stuff!

US Junior Standings (Final)
  • 7.0 IM Akshat Chandra (2588, NJ, 15) - CHAMPION
  • 6.5 IM Jeffery Xiong (2616, TX, 14) - 2nd place
  • 6.0 FM Arthur Shen (2475, NJ, 18) - 3rd place
  • 5.0 FM Ruifeng Li (2503, TX, 14)
  • 4.5 FM Michael Bodek (2535, NY, 18)
  • 4.5 IM Yian Liou (2501, CA-N, 18)
  • 3.5 IM Luke Harmon-Vellotti (2542, ID, 16)
  • 3.5 FM Awonder Liang (2459, WI, 12))
  • 3.0 NM Mika Brattain (2452, MA, 16) 
  • 1.5 NM Curran Han (2211, TX, 17)

Once again, thanks to the world-class Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis for hosting this prestigious event and guaranteeing the top-notch conditions that the talent deserves.  The prize fund alone is worth $20,000, including $6,000 for first place. 

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