Kayden Troff
by Steve Goldberg for www.ChessCafe.com

There are plenty of talented young chess players in the U.S., many of whom have appeared in this column. This month a new phenom makes his debut here, not quite as highly rated as some others, but he’s still only ten years old and has already defeated the current U.S. Junior Champion and an international master in blitz play. His name is Kayden Troff, from Utah. We trust you’ll enjoy his story and his games below.

As of press time, his most recent rating stands at 1983, and the April 2009 USCF rating supplement places him about sixteenth in his home state. Nice stats, but hardly front-page news. Until you consider that Kayden Troff is still a month shy of his eleventh birthday.

The youngster from suburban Salt Lake City, Utah has had quite a phenomenal rise. His first rated tournament took place near the end of 2004, and at the end of 2005, at age seven, he had a provisional rating just over 1000. By the end of 2006, he was around the mid-1400s, and he finished 2007 with a rating of 1655.

The year 2008 was a very busy year for Kayden. He played in about three dozen rated tournaments and his rating rose to 1947, a gain of nearly 300 points. After winning his state elementary championship four years in a row, he took second place in the fifth grade section of the National K-12 Championship in Orlando in December 2008.

Kayden followed this performance by winning the 2009 Utah State Speed Championship in January and the 2009 Utah Game/60 Championship in March. “This is the first time that either of these championships have been won by anyone in the K-12,” said his mother, Kim Troff (pronounced “Trofe,” rhyming with “loaf”). He has already placed first in three other tournaments this year as well.

Here is the full story.

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