Boise teen to vie for U.S. Junior Chess Championship Title
On Your Side Newsroom
Jun 16, 2014
Luke Harmon-Vellotti, 15, of Boise, is scheduled to compete against the top young Chess players in the United States at the 2014 U.S. Junior Closed Championship June 19-29 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis.
Officials say the event is the most prestigious chess tournament for the nation’s top chess players under the age of 21.
The winner will receive the $3,000 First Prize and an automatic invitation to the 2015 U.S. Championship, the nation’s top chess event.
Harmon-Velotti just finished his freshman year at UCLA, where he studied math and computer science — and helped revive the University’s Chess team.
He is a member of the United States Junior Math Olympiad and a five-time All American U.S. Chess team member.
He is Idaho’s highest-rated Chess player of any age, and his family operates a Chess school in Boise to teach developing students the game.
Tony Rich, executive director of the CCSCSL, said the Junior Closed Championship offers an excellent opportunity to showcase the best and brightest student chess players in the nation and provide them with valuable big-tournament experience.
“For students here in St. Louis and students across the nation, it’s incredibly inspiring to see these top juniors compete,” said Tony Rich, Executive Director of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis. “These players are proof that hard work, commitment and study can produce successful results.”
The opening ceremony takes place June 19, and the first round of play begins at 1 p.m. CT on June 20.
The field of players (listed in order of Chess rating, highest to lowest) are:
• Kayden Troff, 16, West Jordan, Utah
• Sam Sevian, 13, Southbridge, Mass.
• Aleksandr Ostrovskiy, 18, New York City
• Luke Harmon-Vellotti, 15, Boise, Idaho
• Jeffrey Xiong, 13, Coppell, Tex.
• Michael Bodek, 16, New Rochelle, N.Y.
• Arthur Shen, 17, Edison, N.J.
• Joshua Colas, 15, White Plains, N.Y.
• Justus Williams, 16, New York City
• Matt Larson, 16, St. Louis