Young Retakes Lead at U.S. Junior Champs

Young Retakes Lead at U.S. Junior Champs

| 7 | Chess Event Coverage

By Ken West

SAINT LOUIS, June 23, 2011 -- Alec Getz pushed d5 in response to John Bryants 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.

In the beginning I feel I was not playing so well, Getz said after the game. After I lost to (Victor) Shen, we had a rest day, and I started playing better.

Yeah, Bryant said when asked if Getz opening surprised him. I only knew he played e5.

Getz said he has not played the opening in more than a year.

It used to be my main opening, the 17-year-old FIDE master from New York City said. In my opinion, I think its a solid opening. Its better than its reputation.

After Getz made a few queen moves, Grandmaster Ben Finegold, providing commentary along with FIDE Master Aviv Friedman, said it looked like a Caro-Kann variation.



Daniel Naroditsky held a draw from the black side, playing yet another variation of the King's Indian against Shen. It is the third draw for Naroditsky and his 4.5/6 puts him in second, a half point behind Gregory Young.


Young beat Kayden Troff in their match that featured white playing both Bc4 and Bg5 against the Sicilian. Both players said the moves are now considered normal.

Even though Troff lost, Friedman complimented the 13-year-old for finding the best moves in tough positions.

Kayden played some solid defense, Young said afterward, agreeing with Friedman.

Troff, who just turned 13 on May 6, said he has been playing solid chess but luck is not going my way. I can be happy with that game even though I lost, he said.

For Troff, it's about fighting chess.

Playing for draws, most cases I say no, Troff said. I go for the win.

He continues to study two to three hours after every round. He gets input from Grandmaster Sam Shankland on openings and overall chess from GM Melik Khachiyan.

It's not real fun to lose, but this is a fun tournament, Troff said.


Jialin Ding lost to Conrad Holt, who is now at 3.5/6 and tied with Warren Harper and Shen.

Holt, playing his usual French defense against e4, had a long think on Ding's fourth move, Nge2.

Jialin doesn't have many games in the database, Finegold said.

He has maybe three games with white in the database, Friedman said.

Finegold and Friedman both said they were surprised Ding played gxf3 on move 10, but when Holt played c6 on move 16, Finegold said it gave Ding some counterplay. But the position again turned in Holt's direction despite Qf6 on move 19.

Almost every move has confused us, Finegold said about the game.

Ding resigned after he played Rdg1 on move 24, which would lose a rook after Holt's Qa1 check. Friedman said Ding could have avoided lots of analysis and saved time by simply playing Kb1 to keep black's queen out of the position.


Raven Sturt and Warren Harper also ended in a draw but featured a Bogo-Indian, which Finegold called a solid, stodgy opening, unusual for the fighting chess exhibited thus far by the juniors.

Today we had some solid draws and even an unusual opening like the Bogo-Indian, Finegold said.


The championship runs through June 26 and includes some of the top players in the country younger than 21. In addition to earning the title of U.S. Junior Champion and taking home the first-place prize of $3,000, the winner also receives an automatic bid to both the World Junior Championship and the 2012 U.S. Championship. The total prize fund is more than $10,000.

Action resumes at 1 p.m. Thursday. 

Games and commentary can be seen live on

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