2014 U.S. Junior Closed (Round #2)

2014 U.S. Junior Chess Championship
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Round #2 (Saturday, 21 June 2014)
Table White Score Rating Black Score Rating Result
1 IM Ostrovskiy, Aleksandr A 0.0 2423 FM Williams, Justus D 1.0 2278 1-0
2 GM Troff, Kayden W 1.0 2494 IM Sevian, Samuel 0.0 2442 1-0
3 FM Bodek, Michael H 1.0 2389 FM Shen, Arthur 0.0 2331 ½-½
4 IM Harmon-Vellotti, Luke 0.0 2412 NM Larson, Matthew W 0.0 2160 1-0
5 IM Xiong, Jeffery 1.0 2437 NM Colas, Joshua 1.0 2247 1-0

Decisive games continue in the second round. Aleksandr Ostrovskiy beat Justus Williams in an exciting battle that went blow for blow from start to finish. In a Taimanov Sicilian, black went for the initiative on the queenside, but was rebuffed after 21.Nd5! This move changed the momentum of the game as 24. Qf4 Bxa2+ 25. Kxa2 Qe6+ 26. Nd5 cxd5 27. exd5 Qxe5 28. Rhe1 Qxf4 29. gxf4 gave white a slight edge. Williams 30…Rc4 may have given up the edge as it allowed white to begin rolling his passed pawns. Ostrovskiy’s 36.Rxe6! removed all resistance.

GM Kayden Troff
Photo from @ChessChampKT.

Kayden Troff dismantled an off-form Samuel Sevian who was simply outplayed after some strong play on weak squares. It was amazing how quickly black’s position collapsed. Disastrous start for Sevian. Bodek-Shen saw a fashionable line after 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 e6 7. g4!? The game quickly turned into a typical opposite side attack. It was unclear who was winning, but both players found incredible resources to keep the game on a razor’s edge. Finally the game petered out to a draw.

In yet another tactical Sicilian, Matt Larson was unafraid to test the tactical prowess of Luke Harmon-Velotti, but unfortunately dropped an exchange with marginal compensation. With the black king exposed, Larson had to suffer massive losses. In the fourth Sicilian of the round, Jeffery Xiong tried to sidestep the theoretical landmines and opted for a slower g3-system against Josh Colas. Unfortunately, this gave black an easy time in equalizing.

The game exploded after 14…Nf4! but the game appeared headed for a draw. Colas left his rook on a8 a bit too long and white was finally able to exploit the diagonal after 23. Rxb7 Qd6 24. Qh5 g6 25. Qf3 Kg7 26. Rxf7+! The only hope was for black to get the queens off the board and arrive at an opposite-color bishop ending, but Xiong was having none of it. While black was busy watching the passed a-pawn, white launched an attack on the king… which proved to be lethal.

Catch live commentary of the event at https://www.uschesschamps.com/tags/2014-us-junior-closed-championship.

Official Site: https://www.uschesschamps.com/

Daaim Shabazz

Daaim Shabazz is the founder of The Chess Drum, while serving as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds a B.S. Computer Science from Chicago State University, an MBA in Marketing and a Ph.D. in International Affairs & Development, both from Clark Atlanta University. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.


  1. 2014 U.S. Junior Chess Championship
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Overall Standings
    Rank Name Score M/F Rating TPR W-We 1 2
    1 GM Troff, Kayden W 2.0 M 2494 3187 +0.71 1 1
    2 IM Xiong, Jeffery 2.0 M 2437 3135 +0.73 1 1
    3 FM Bodek, Michael H 1.5 M 2389 2439 +0.13 1 ½
    4 IM Ostrovskiy, Aleksandr A 1.0 M 2423 2358 -0.17 0 1
    5 IM Harmon-Vellotti, Luke 1.0 M 2412 2204 -0.53 0 1
    6 FM Williams, Justus D 1.0 M 2278 2433 +0.41 1 0
    7 NM Colas, Joshua 1.0 M 2247 2425 +0.47 1 0
    8 FM Shen, Arthur 0.5 M 2331 2249 -0.20 0 ½
    9 IM Sevian, Samuel 0.0 M 2442 1586 -1.15 0 0
    10 NM Larson, Matthew W 0.0 M 2160 1601 -0.40 0 0

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