12-year old Kayin Barclay shines at the Chicago Open!

One big story broke in the Under-1800 section of the 2003 Chicago Open when 12-year Chicagoan Kayin Barclay (1684 USCF) was storming through his section after five rounds with 5-0. Barclay is one of the brightest scholastic stars on the horizon and thrived at the successful Beasley Elementary School chess program. He is now in the exclusive Whitney Young program for gifted 7th and 8th graders. After winning his sixth round game, his would-be Canadian opponent Marc Sicotte rushed in the room after forfeiting and made a case with Larry Cohen, one of the tournament directors.

Kayin Barclay

Cohen asked Kayin if he wanted to play the game anyway for a chance at rating points, he could. Sitting at a possible 6-0, Kayin agreed to wipe the slate clean and play the game with an hour advantage. Witnesses were indeed puzzled and Daaim Shabazz, who had been following Kayin's games, questioned the ruling.  When confronted, Chief Director Bill Goichberg supported the decision and told the Cohen to reiterate to Kayin the seriousness of the matter. Goichberg stated that the Tournament Director can overrule forfeits under certain conditions, but produced no rule book (which he has apparently written).

Kayin Barclay (far right) on board #1 in last round of Chicago Open. Next to him is Joseph Gadson of Detroit, Michigan who finished 5-2. Photo by Daaim Shabazz.

Kayin's proud parents Lester and Sue Barclay listened carefully to the ongoing debate, neither being chess players. Chicago player Sam Ford also joined the debate. After Goichberg stormed away, Mrs. Barclay offered her motherly insight that Kayin has a passion for the game and he wants to "win the right way." She then ended the discussion by saying, "and he's going to win." Mother knows best! With the heart of a lion, Kayin prevailed convincingly. However, his streak ended when he lost his last round game to Donald Lutz finishing at 6-1. Nevertheless, we will hear more from this bright, affable 12-year old in years to come.

Posted by The Chess Drum: 29 May  2003

Chicago Open Reports

Barclay honored as "Kid of the Month"   

Letter from Kayin Barclay on his Chicago Open performance

The Chess Drum, "U.S. Champ takes Chicago Open crown," 
29 May 2003.

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