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2010 US Junior Open Set for Houston, July 23-25 Print E-mail
By Franc Guadalupe   
June 26, 2010
JeffXiong.jpg
Jeff Xiong
In less than one month, the U.S. Junior Open returns to Texas and this time the event will be held at the beautiful facilities of the Hilton Houston Hobby Airport Hotel, 23-25 July.  This National event, open to all players under the age of 21 as of 1 January 2010, has been held in Dallas on two occasions, 2002 and 2006, both times drawing record crowds. The organizers in Houston are hoping for another record this year.  There will be four sections in this event:  Under 21, Under 15, Under 11 and Under 8 (age as of 1 January 2010).

Past winners of the top section of this event include GM Gabriel Schwartzman in 1995 and IM Greg Shahade in 1996.  Not to be outdone by Greg, lil' sister WGM Jennifer Shahade won the event in 1998.  IM Salvijus Bercys won in 2003 when he was only 13 years old!

Last year's US Junior Open was held in Milwaukee, WI, and the Champions were: Brady Harder (U11) from Wisconsin, Marc Christian Nazario (U15) also from Wisconsin, and the U21 section resulted in a two-way tie between Experts Eric Rosen from Illinois and Kevin Bu from Minnesota. There was no U8 section last year.  The winner of the US Junior Open U21 division gets an automatic spot in the 2011 US Junior Closed (if still eligible by age).

So far, a few strong players have registered.  The Under 21 division will be FIDE rated and it already includes National Master Trevor Magness from Illinois and Experts Vincent Zhang, Matthew Liu, Jeffery Xiong and Derek Chang, all from Texas.  Jeffery, a member of the Dallas Chess Club, is the second highest rated 9-year old in the country although, as of this writing, he is unofficially the top 9-year old, with a 2128 rating!  We still have four weeks before the event and many other strong players are likely to sign up, so young Jeffery will have his hands full in trying to become the Open's youngest winner ever. 

Several of the games will be shown live on http://monroi.com/, so follow all the exciting action.  LMNO Productions, a television production company based in California, producers of "Kids Say the Darndest Things," "Boot Camp," and the "Guinness World Records: Primetime," among others, will be at the event following the progress of Jeffery and some of the other young players for their production of a show on gifted children. 

For more information about the 2010 U.S. Junior Open, and to sign up, please visit the tournament webpage, http://www.uschess.org/tournaments/2010/junior/.
 
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