Young Falters, Naroditsky Wins to Pull Even at U.S. Juniors
By Ken West   
June 22, 2011
daniel.jpgSAINT LOUIS, June 22, 2011 -- Alec Getz handed Gregory Young his first loss in the U.S. Junior Closed Championship Tuesday, and Daniel Naroditsky won his game against Warren Harper to pull even with Young at 4 points.

In other games, Conrad Holt dismantled John Bryant's Benoni; Jialin Ding got his first point of the tournament with a win over Raven Sturt; and Victor Shen won with the black pieces against Kayden Troff.

The fifth round at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis again proved decisive with four wins and a draw. Of the 25 games played, there have been 21 wins.

Following Young and Naroditsky with 3 points apiece are Bryant, Getz, Harper and Shen. Holt stands at 2.5; Ding and Troff each have a point and Sturt has a half point.

FIDE Master Aviv Friedman, providing commentary with Grandmaster Ben Finegold, expressed surprise at Holt's 15th move, when the young international master repositioned his bishop from d3 to e2. Finegold said the move usually does not happen until black moves his knight to e5.



Holt said Bryant also played the Benoni against him in 2009. Holt also likes to play against it. The last several times he has faced c5, Holt said, he has won. During the recent Chicago Open, Holt had a draw against GM Giorgi Kacheishivili's Benoni.

"I've studied about everything black can try and always get a position I like," Holt said.

Young lagged in development in his game against Getz as he didn't move his light-squared bishop until move 20 and his queenside rook on move 23. Young resigned before making his 25th move.



Naroditsky said over the remaining four games he will "try to have fun and whatever happens, happens."


"I will not be obsessed going for the win," Naroditsky said. "I will do what the position asks me to do."

Harper had trouble developing his queen side against the young international master from San Francisco. It was move 27 before Harper got his queenside bishop off the back rank (to d7). On move 33, Naroditsky captured Harper's knight, still on its b8 square. When the game ended Harper's queenside rook also still remained at home.



"After Bg5 we figured you were about lost," Finegold said about the effect of Naroditsky's 21st move. Harper agreed.

Ding notched a point on the board in another steady game. Friedman said Ding showed good character throughout the tournament. "He's had five good games," Friedman said. "He has had good positions on moves 20 and 25 only to have something happen beyond that."

Such was not the case Tuesday. Ding again played a line against the Caro Kann that had his knights on f4 and h5. Friedman predicted a draw because of "careful play by both players."

Sturt said his c5 on move 29 was wrong.

After the win, Ding said he has not had high expectations.



"I want to play good chess the next four rounds and see how I do," the St. Louis player said.

Shen had the only victory from the black side of the board with his win over Troff, a game Finegold and Friedman thought earlier was headed to a draw.



The championship runs through June 26 and includes players 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.

Round six action is currently underway and Round seven begins at 1 PM Central/2 EST on Wednesday. Games and commentary can be seen live on www.livestream.com/uschess.