Nine-year-old chess phenom chosen for 2008 All-American Team
By Jeremiah Stettler
The Salt Lake Tribune

Article Last Updated: 11/30/2007 07:49:19 PM MST

Posted: 7:48 PM- WEST JORDAN – When it comes to chess, Kayden Troff can beat you blindfolded.

This 9-year-old chess champ has crushed competitors across Utah – including adults – and now has earned a slot on the elite U.S. Chess Federation’s 2008 All-American Team.

He’s a genius on the game board, observers say, even when he seems more inclined to chew on his pencil.

Kayden has clobbered his grandfather with his eyes covered. He has whipped every Utah grade-schooler in his age bracket for three straight years. And he ranks in the top 10 nationally for a 9 year old.

“He is skilled beyond his years,” said Jeff Unruh, president of the Utah Chess Association’s scholastic committee. “He has an amazing knack for the game.”

At first glimpse, Kayden is an unlikely foe: cherub-faced and a tad short for a fourth-grader. He’s soft-spoken, uncommonly polite and quick to point out that chess is “just a game.”

But he has trounced his way to the top of Utah’s chess community and made a name for himself nationally. The U.S. Chess Federation has selected Kayden from among 45,000 players for its 2008 All-American Team. He was the only Utahn inducted into the 40-member club.

“This is one of the highest national honors attainable by a young chess player,” said Jerry Nash, scholastic director for the U.S. Chess Federation.

Here is the full story.

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