Cunning young chess players capture titles

More than 500 kids met at the U. to battle to be the best in their grade at the State Elementary Chess Championship

By Jeremiah Stettler
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated:
03/25/2007 01:31:02 AM MDT

Don’t underestimate the cherub-faced Kayden Troff, whose 8-year-old appearance belies his cunning on the chess board. With a word of caution printed on his T-shirt – “Judge me by my size do you?” – Troff trounced fellow grade-schoolers Saturday to become the state’s third-grade champion.

The West Jordan boy ranks fifth in the nation for his age bracket, but shrugs off his accomplishments with the simple phrase, “It’s only a game.”

With concentration uncommon to their age, more than 500 elementary students gathered on the University of Utah campus to compete in the 2007 State Elementary Chess Championship.

These half-pint players, ages 4 to 12, hunkered over chess boards Saturday to battle for the title of state champ in their grade.

Kindergartner Avi Gupta hovered over his board in the final round of competition, delivering animated kills as he marched his queen into enemy territory.

Then, with his opponent still scanning the board for her next move, he announced, “Now the surprise attack!” He whisked his queen into a killing position beside the king and called check mate.

Here is the full article.

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