Success for Jeffery Xiong

It has already been a fantastic year for the young members of the Young Stars program, which is co-sponsored by the Saint Louis Chess Club and Scholastic Center as well as the Kasparov Chess Foundation. Earlier this year Sam Sevian had a fantastic performance in the U.S. Championship, earning his qualification to the 2015 World Cup, to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, later this year. However he is not the only youngster with a meteoric rise. Jeffrey Xiong, aged only 14, has recently conquered a top international open and obtained his grandmaster title to boot!

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Jeffrey Xiong showing his skills in the 2015 edition of the U.S. Junior Championship in Saint Louis. Photo by Austin Fuller -Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.

Jeffrey scored an impressive 7.0/9 in the world-famous Chicago Open, held in Wheeling, Illinois every year. This event attracts grandmasters from around the World, from as far away as Belarus and as strong as Gata Kamsky (former U.S. Champion) and Lazaro Bruzon Batista (Cuba’s #2 player). However, this time they were no match for young Jeffrey as his score was good enough for clear first, his final grandmaster norm and the rating bump needed to cross 2500 – the last requirement in obtaining the coveted title. As a nice bonus, Jeffrey took home $10,300 in prize money.

The following were the final standings in the Chicago Open:

# Name Rtng Tot
Prize
Amount
1 IM Jeffery Xiong 2497 7.0
1st/Bonus
$10300.00
2 GM Gata Kamsky 2673 6.5
2nd-8th
$1671.43
3 GM Illia I Nyzhnyk 2622 6.5
2nd-8th
$1671.43
4 GM Daniel A Naroditsky 2622 6.5
2nd-8th
$1671.43
5 GM Sergei Azarov 2619 6.5
2nd-8th
$1671.43
6 GM Samuel Sevian 2565 6.5
2nd-8th
$1671.43
7 GM Vladimir Georgiev 2550 6.5
2nd-8th
$1671.43
8 GM Vladimir Dobrov 2490 6.5
2nd-8th
$1671.43
9 FM Eric S Rosen 2372 6.5
1st U2400
$2000.00
10 GM Lazaro Bruzon Batista 2684 6.0
9th-10th
$160.00
11 GM Boris Avrukh 2609 6.0
9th-10th
$160.00
12 GM Ioan Chirila 2542 6.0
9th-10th
$160.00
13 GM Joshua E Friedel 2505 6.0
9th-10th
$160.00
14 IM Ashwin Jayaram 2466 6.0
9th-10th
$160.00
15 FM Atulya Shetty 2331 6.0
2nd U2400
$1000.00
16 GM Bartlomiej Macieja 2605 5.5
17 GM Isan Ortiz Suarez 2581 5.5
18 GM Kayden W Troff 2556 5.5
19 GM Holden Hernandez Carmenate 2544 5.5
20 GM Conrad Holt 2533 5.5

On his way to tournament victory he defeated grandmasters Boris Avrukh, from Israel, and Lazaro Bruzon Batista, from Cuba, in the final two rounds – must wins to claim clear first!

Jeffery lives in Coppell, Texas – part of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. He is an arduous worker both on and off the board, studying many hours a day to keep up with the latest opening trends, as well as polishing his strength. As a youngster, he was trained by GM Babakuli Annakov and practiced in the Dallas Chess Club – a strong center of players due to the proximity to the University of Texas at Dallas; one of the top collegiate teams in the country.

The big leap for Jeffery made came with his joining of Young Stars, a program catapulting extremely talented children and giving them the tools and opportunities to achieve the highest level in chess. The program is run by KCF president and FIDE Senior Trainer Michael Khodarkovsky. Since the inception of the program in 2012 Jeffery has been coached by grandmasters Alexander Chernin (head coach of the Young Stars program) and Gabor Kallai, both from Hungary. Also he has two training sessions a year with Garry Kasparov, one in New York and one in Saint Louis – the upcoming one will be held in the Missouri city starting June 18.

ratinggraph01

Jeffery’s Rating Progress – only going up!

Jeffery knows that his path to the top is only starting, and his next goal will be to qualify to the 2016 U.S. Chess Championship, the most important tournament of the year in America outside of the Sinquefield Cup. To do this, he will be participating in the U.S. Junior Closed Championship to be held in Saint Louis – the winner if this strong tournament will earn a direct spot in the U.S. Championship of the following year. Competition will not be easy, as some of his Young Stars colleagues will most likely be participating, including grandmasters Kayden Troff and Sam Sevian.

xiong01

Photo: Austin Fuller, Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.

┬áHis goal is to be part of the U.S. Olympic team – and join the ranks of Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana in representing his country in the maximum level of chess. He will continue his climb to the top with the backing of the Kasparov Chess Foundation.

 

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