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Ten Young Chess Stars Vie for 2015 U.S. Junior Closed Title in Saint Louis

Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint LouisChess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis selected again to host U.S. Junior Closed Championship

The country’s top young chess players are back in Saint Louis, the nation’s Chess Capital, this summer as the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL) will again host the U.S. Junior Closed Championship from July 7-15, 2015. This event is the most prestigious chess tournament in the country for junior players under the age of 21 and an excellent opportunity for them to experience a professional tournament and atmosphere.

Players will compete for more than $20,000 in prizes, and the winner will also receive an automatic invitation to the 2016 U.S. Championship, the nation’s top invitational chess event.

Tournament website/ LIVE games with analysis/ Standings and statistics

“For students here in Saint Louis and students across the nation, it’s incredibly inspiring to see these top juniors compete,” said Tony Rich, executive director of the CCSCSL. “These players are proof that hard work, commitment and study can produce successful results – and we’re thrilled to again host these students during this prestigious chess event.”

Meet the field (USCF June Rating List):

  • IM Jeffery Xiong (2606) – Coppell, Texas
  • IM Akshat Chandra (2589) – Inselin, N.J.
  • FM Michael Bodek (2527) – New Rochelle, N.Y.
  • IM Luke Harmon-Vellotti (2526) – Boise, Idaho
  • FM Ruifeng Li (2502) – Plano, Texas
  • IM Yian Liou (2501) – Alamo, Calif.
  • FM Arthur Shen (2477) – Edison, N.J.
  • NM Mika Brattain (2457) – Lexington, Mass.
  • FM Awonder Liang (2428) – Madison, Wis.
  • NM Curran Han (2211) – Houston, Texas

The opening ceremony will take place July 6 at the Chess Club and Scholastic of Saint Louis at 6:00 p.m. The nine-round, round-robin tournament will begin on July 7 with the first round starting at 1:00 p.m.

Each round of the 2015 U.S. Junior Closed Championship will feature live commentary with Grandmaster Ben Finegold and FIDE Master Aviv Friedman.

Previous winners of the Junior Closed Championship include GM Bobby Fischer, GM Larry Christiansen, GM Patrick Wolff, IM Joshua Waitzkin, GM Tal Shaked, GM Hikaru Nakamura, GM Robert Hess, GM Ray Robson and GM Sam Shankland.

About The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that is committed to making chess an important part of our community. In addition to providing a forum for the community to play tournaments and casual games, the club also offers chess improvement classes, beginner lessons and special lectures.

Recognizing the cognitive and behavioral benefits of chess, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center is committed to supporting those chess programs that already exist in area schools while encouraging the development of new in-school and after-school programs. For more information, visit

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