2016 US Championship Contenders Announced!!
Very excited that the contenders for the 2016 US Chess Championship in St Louis have been announced! Although I'd be happy to see either Nakamura or Caruna win (which is likely considering that they're both rated exactly 2787, tied for world #5 and #6 in the February FIDE ratings; Nakamura's USCF rating is only 11 points higher, 2869 to Caruana's 2858), I'm really looking forward to seeing 15-year-old Jeffrey Xiong play against some of the world's top players.
From his bio: "Jeffery Xiong of Coppell, Texas, has shown tenacity well beyond his years...
From a very young age, Jeffery has seen his losses, though painful, as an opportunity to improve. While some of Jeffery’s older competitors have been known to display their frustration with difficult losses, Jeffery remains collected, analyzing where his play could have been stronger. This maturity has helped enlist legendary Grandmaster Garry Kasparov as a mentor in the Young Stars program, and it has led to numerous impressive victories and awards since.
Home-schooled now, Jeffery already has been awarded a four-year scholarship to the University of Texas at Dallas, with the chance to compete for their prestigious chess team. The school’s faith in Jeffery is well-founded, particularly since his play in this past spring’s UT Dallas vs. U.S.A. Junior All-Stars event helped his team, the Junior All-Stars, achieve victory over that same UT Dallas university program he may one day attend.
Xiong’s impressive play in 2015 has confirmed his status as one of the most promising junior players in America. He competes for the first time in this year’s U.S. Championship."
Thank you to Mike Klein for bringing this news to everyone! https://www.chess.com/news/view/back-to-st-louis-u-s-championships-fields-set-8972
From Mike's article: "Grandmaster, promoter, businessman, commentator, teacher and occasional hustler Maurice Ashley will soon be enshrined in the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame."
Haha great description, and if you don't know what he's talking about with Maurice Ashley being an occasional hustler, you'll definitely want to check out this video of him crushing someone who was talking trash in a street blitz game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5vnpOp0U_g