Marc Arnold is 2012 US Junior Champion

by ChessBase
7/20/2012 – It is never easy being the top-seed, as the expectation is the highest, and one has the most to lose, but IM Marc Arnold lived up to his billing by winning the Group B qualifying section with ease and then beating FM Alec Getz, winner of Group A. With this, he became the 2012 US Junior Champion. That said, take note of one other name: 11-year-old Jeffrey Xiong who has won 227 Elo in one year!

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Arnold Wins 2012 U.S. Junior Closed Championship

By Mike Wilmington

SAINT LOUIS (July 16, 2012) – In the closing ceremony last night, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL) crowned International Master Marc Arnold, 19, of New York City, the 2012 U.S. Junior Chess Champion.

The Junior Closed Championship is an invitation-only tournament that features the top chess players in the nation under the age of 21. Alongside the U.S. Championship and U.S. Women's Championship, the Junior Closed Championship completes the "Triple Crown" of the three most prestigious chess tournaments in the country.

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"I'm honored to have won this tournament because the competition was really tough," said Arnold. "I'm looking forward to getting a chance to come back to Saint Louis to compete with the nation's best at the U.S. Championship next year."

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Arnold beat out 16 other players in a split round-robin tournament with a playoff final to clinch the title and the first-place prize of $4,000. As the winner of the U.S. Junior Closed Championship, Arnold will also receive an invitation to the 2013 U.S. Chess Championship, which is scheduled to be held in Saint Louis next year.

"Marc did an amazing job and fought hard throughout the entire tournament," said Tony Rich, executive director of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. "Our hope is that his passion for the game and the amazing sportsmanship he has demonstrated will encourage and inspire other young chess players across the country to become more active."

Marc Arnold and Alec Getz fought it out in the playoff after both won their respective qualifiers

According to the USCF's current rating supplement, Arnold was ranked first by rating out of the sixteen competitors and was considered one of the favorites coming into the tournament. The sixteen players were split into two groups of eight, and the winner of each section squared off in a head-to-head playoff for the title. Arnold went undefeated in his round-robin section, scoring five points out of seven games, to secure his spot in the playoff finals.

Arnold defeated Alec Getz of New York City, who was the winner of the other round-robin section, in a two-game playoff final. Getz, who received $3,000 for second place, entered the tournament ranked ninth out of the 16 players and exceeded expectations by winning his section over a number of higher-rated players.

Marc Arnold has had a great year, winning the 2012 US Junior Championship and
scoring his final GM norm just a couple of weeks ago.

Arnold has had an incredibly successful summer so far—our new U.S. Junior Champion also earned a GM norm a couple weeks ago at the World Open in Philadelphia. He will return to Saint Louis next year to compete in the 2013 U.S. Championship.

The junior tournament's winnings for first through last place totaled $18,000.

Another noteworthy result, despite not reaching the playoff stage, was that of the eleven-year-old prodigy: Jeffrey Xiong. Feel free to familiarize yourself with the name as you can be certain you will be hearing more of him in the future as well. He was by and far the youngest participant in the US Junior championship, but is currently in that rocket rise phase where ratings are constantly trying to keep up.

Consider that in July 2011 he had a FIDE rating of 1979, whereas in the list published a couple of weeks ago, he was already 2206 FIDE, a mere 227 Elo jump, with over 100 this year alone. In the split round robin phase, he scored a respectable 50% with a 2332 performance including a win over Darwin Yang (2498 FIDE).

11-year-old Jeffrey Xiong defeated Darwin Yang, his 300 Elo superior

CCSCSL Executive Director Tony Rich, Albert Silver, and WGM Jennifer Shahade contributed to this report.

Final standings of Group A

Final standings of Group B

Playoff results


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