In an exciting turn of events in round 4, International Master Aleksandr Ostrovskiy defeated the top seed and tournament leader, Jeffery Xiong. This victory puts Ostrovskiy in clear first place with 5 rounds to go.
Commentator FM Aviv Friedman called Ostroskiy’s play in his victory against Xiong “a model game”.
Meanwhile, Xiong is tied for second with IM Awonder Liang and IM-elect Michael Brown. Liang’s most impressive victory so far was over GM Kayden Troff against the Najdorf Sicilian.
Akshat Chandra, Ruifeng Li, Michael Brown, and Luke Harmon-Vellotti at the opening ceremony. Photo: Austin Fuller
Two favorites who’ve had a slow start, but are still in the running are Ruifeng Li and the defending champion, Akshat Chandra. Both players have drawn all four games. This round was particularly tough on Ruifeng Li, who uncharacteristically blundered a pawn early in the game against Nicolas Checa and then fought his way to a draw.
For more information on the U.S. Junior Championship, visit the Official Website. The U.S. Junior Closed runs from July 8-17. Rounds are everyday at 1 p.m. CST, except for the final round which is at 11 a.m.