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World Junior Champ Leads Deep Dallas Destiny Team

World Junior Champ Leads Deep Dallas Destiny Team

Dec 25, 2016, 8:35 AM 0

Dallas is known to the chess world as the home of the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), a perennial powerhouse in collegiate chess. The in-state competition is strong, as Rio Grande and Lubbock also house strong squads.

Dallas distinguishes itself with its young talent, headlined by reigning World Junior Champion Jeffery Xiong. Xiong is a bona-fide superstar, cracking the world's top 100 players. He is currently the fourth highest-rated junior in the world. His most recent success was tying for first with fellow teenage sensation Sam Sevian at the UTD Fall Open, raising his rating to 2666. Here is ono of the games of 2016, Xiong's battle royale in the World Junior Championship.

15-year-old Ruifeng Li is another player whose rating has skyrocketed in the past year. Although his grandmaster title has yet to be officially confirmed, the 2016 National Open champion boasts a rating above 2550. One of Li's best games was a draw against U.S. Champion Fabiano Caruana at the 2015 Millionaire Open.

GM Julio Sadorra is no stranger to the spotlight. At the 2016 Olympiad, the Filipino board one drew Magnus Carlsen with the black pieces. Sadorra is a UTD graduate who has gained 86 points in 2016, making the resurgent grandmaster a name to keep an eye on.

With this lineup rounded out by local IMs Zurab Javakhadze and Eylon Nakar, in addition to GMs Angel Arribas Lopez and Conrad Holt, Dallas is one of the strongest teams in the PRO Chess League. Former UTD-member Chris Toolin (2224 FIDE) might find himself anchored to the lineup, as his rating will be needed to bring down the team average. It is also worth noting that the Destiny have scooped up another American talent in their only free agent: 18-year-old Luke Harmon-Vellotti, an international master and former junior math olympian who matriculated at UCLA at just 14 years old.

The PRO Chess League welcomes the Dallas Destiny!

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