GM John Burke Emerges From Armageddon as 2020 U.S. Junior Champion

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2020 U.S. Junior Champion GM John Burke
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2020 U.S. Junior Champion GM John Burke

GM John Burke, the 19-year-old Webster University sophomore, became the 2020 U.S. Junior Champion after defeating GM Jeffery Xiong in a thrilling playoff for the crown.  

Burke caught up with Xiong atop the standings in the ninth and final round of regulation on Thursday, forcing a pair of overtime Rapid tiebreakers and then overcoming a lopsided time disadvantage in Armageddon to become the nation’s top U20 player. In his third appearance in the U.S. Junior Championship, held online this year by the Saint Louis Chess Club and featuring all Rapid G/25+5 games, Burke earned his new title along with a $6,000 top prize and a $6,000 scholarship from Dewain Barber and US Chess. He also secured an invitation to the 2021 U.S. Championship.  

 “(The Junior Championship) was a lot different this year, because of the online format, because of the rapid time control, because it was over a span of three days compared to it usually being over two weeks,” Burke said. “But it still felt like serious chess. The online factor didn’t really come into play until the very end, but the rest of the event felt almost like a normal tournament.”  

 

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2020 U.S. Junior Final Standings

 

Junior spectators might be forgiven to once have thought Burke had been left in the tournament dust. Kicking off with a loss in the opening round - to none other than top-seed Xiong - could have spelled early doom for Burke, but instead sparked quite an impactful moment in competition.  

“I lost my first round with white to Jeffery, from a pretty good position. If I hadn’t bounced back immediately, I don’t think I would have even come close to winning the tournament,” Burke said. “That second round game was honestly a critical moment. Maybe it’s weird to say a critical game came so early, but for me and my state of mind in this tournament, that was an important one.”  

[pgn][Event "2020 US Junior Championship"] [Site "https://lichess.org/Tn0A0eyF"] [Date "2020.10.13"] [Round "2.4"] [White "Josh Sheng"] [Black "John Burke"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A28"] [WhiteElo "2586"] [BlackElo "2655"] [Annotator "https://lichess.org/@/broadcaster"] [PlyCount "72"] [EventDate "2020.??.??"] [TimeControl "1500+5"] [WhiteClock "0:00:11"] [BlackClock "0:00:38"] 1. c4 {[%emt 0:00:05]} e5 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 2. Nc3 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Nf6 { [%emt 0:00:03]} 3. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Nc6 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 4. e3 {[%emt 0:00: 03]} Bb4 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 5. Qc2 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Bxc3 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 6. Qxc3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Qe7 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 7. a3 {[%emt 0:00:02]} O-O {[%emt 0:01: 01]} 8. b4 {[%emt 0:00:13]} d6 {[%emt 0:00:46]} 9. Bb2 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Bg4 { [%emt 0:00:08]} 10. d3 {[%emt 0:00:32]} a5 {[%emt 0:01:58]} 11. b5 {[%emt 0:00: 14]} Nb8 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 12. h3 $6 {[%emt 0:00:32] Inaccuracy. d4 was best.} ( 12. d4) 12... Bh5 $6 {[%emt 0:00:09] Inaccuracy. Bxf3 was best.} (12... Bxf3 13. gxf3 Nbd7 14. Bg2 Qe6 15. O-O Nc5 16. Rad1 Na4 17. Qc2 Nxb2 18. Qxb2 c6 19. d4) 13. g4 {[%emt 0:01:07]} Bg6 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 14. Nh4 {[%emt 0:00:28]} Nbd7 {[%emt 0:00:52]} 15. Nxg6 {[%emt 0:00:23]} fxg6 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 16. g5 $6 { [%emt 0:06:29] Inaccuracy. Bg2 was best.} (16. Bg2 Nc5) 16... Nh5 {[%emt 0:00: 18]} 17. h4 {[%emt 0:00:08]} Nc5 {[%emt 0:01:14]} 18. Qc2 {[%emt 0:00:48]} Qf7 {[%emt 0:04:39]} 19. Rh2 {[%emt 0:01:59]} Ng3 {[%emt 0:02:18]} 20. Bh3 { [%emt 0:02:46]} Qf3 {[%emt 0:02:25]} 21. Rd1 {[%emt 0:04:42]} e4 {[%emt 0:01: 53]} 22. d4 {[%emt 0:01:42]} Nd3+ {[%emt 0:00:15]} 23. Rxd3 {[%emt 0:00:01]} exd3 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 24. Qxd3 $2 {[%emt 0:00:01] Mistake. Be6+ was best.} (24. Be6+) 24... Rae8 {[%emt 0:01:49]} 25. Bc1 {[%emt 0:01:03]} Re4 {[%emt 0:03:21]} 26. Qc2 $6 {[%emt 0:00:41] Inaccuracy. Qd1 was best.} (26. Qd1 Qf4 27. Rg2 d5 28. cxd5 Nf5 29. Rg4 Qh2 30. Rxe4 Qh1+ 31. Ke2 Qxe4 32. f4 Nxh4) 26... Nf5 { [%emt 0:02:22]} 27. Qd1 $2 {[%emt 0:02:35] Mistake. Bxf5 was best.} (27. Bxf5) 27... Nxd4 {[%emt 0:00:21]} 28. Qd3 {[%emt 0:00:19]} Rxh4 {[%emt 0:00:17]} 29. Bb2 {[%emt 0:00:12]} Rxh3 {[%emt 0:00:28]} 30. Qxd4 {[%emt 0:00:02]} Rf7 { [%emt 0:00:01]} 31. Rxh3 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Qxf2+ {[%emt 0:00:02]} 32. Kd1 { [%emt 0:00:01]} Qf1+ {[%emt 0:00:00]} 33. Kc2 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Qxh3 {[%emt 0: 00:03]} 34. Kb3 {[%emt 0:00:02]} Qf5 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 35. Qa7 $2 {[%emt 0:00: 12] Checkmate is now unavoidable. Qd5 was best.} (35. Qd5 Qxd5 36. cxd5 Rf5 37. e4 Rxg5 38. Kc4 b6 39. Bd4 Kf7 40. Bf2 Rg4 41. Kd3 h5) 35... Qd3+ {[%emt 0:00: 07]} 36. Bc3 {[%emt 0:00:13]} Qd1+ {[%emt 0:00:01] Normal} 0-1 [/pgn]

That opening loss would prove to be Burke’s only defeat in the tournament, rebounding with a win over IM Joshua Sheng and then another over IM Christopher Yoo. And each of his five total wins collected through the tournament came mostly clutch, including a big victory over GM Sam Sevian in the fifth round, and this must-win with the black pieces over IM Praveen Balakrishnan in the ninth round to force a playoff.  

[pgn][Event "2020 US Junior Championship"] [Site "https://lichess.org/EVwZSk3c"] [Date "2020.10.15"] [Round "9.3"] [White "Praveen Balakrishnan"] [Black "John Burke"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B51"] [WhiteElo "2612"] [BlackElo "2655"] [Annotator "https://lichess.org/@/broadcaster"] [PlyCount "68"] [EventDate "2020.??.??"] [TimeControl "1500+5"] [WhiteClock "0:00:20"] [BlackClock "0:06:16"] 1. e4 {[%emt 0:00:05]} c5 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 2. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:05]} d6 {[%emt 0: 00:02]} 3. Bb5+ {[%emt 0:00:26]} Nd7 {[%emt 0:00:08]} 4. d4 {[%emt 0:00:05]} cxd4 {[%emt 0:00:10]} 5. Qxd4 {[%emt 0:00:02]} a6 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 6. Bxd7+ { [%emt 0:00:01]} Bxd7 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 7. O-O {[%emt 0:00:50]} Rc8 {[%emt 0:00: 06]} 8. c4 {[%emt 0:00:33]} e5 {[%emt 0:00:17]} 9. Qd3 {[%emt 0:00:04]} b5 { [%emt 0:00:52]} 10. b3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} Qc7 {[%emt 0:01:39]} 11. Nbd2 {[%emt 0: 00:57]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:40]} 12. Ba3 {[%emt 0:00:29]} Be7 {[%emt 0:00:46]} 13. Rfc1 {[%emt 0:00:55]} Qb6 {[%emt 0:01:37]} 14. cxb5 {[%emt 0:01:47]} axb5 { [%emt 0:00:03]} 15. Rxc8+ {[%emt 0:01:12]} Bxc8 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 16. Bb4 { [%emt 0:02:31]} Bb7 {[%emt 0:01:51]} 17. Rc1 {[%emt 0:00:42]} h6 {[%emt 0:00: 30]} 18. Qc2 {[%emt 0:02:25]} Ng4 {[%emt 0:02:41]} 19. Nf1 {[%emt 0:04:21]} Kd7 {[%emt 0:02:04]} 20. Qe2 {[%emt 0:01:51]} Rc8 {[%emt 0:01:03]} 21. Rxc8 { [%emt 0:00:09]} Bxc8 {[%emt 0:00:24]} 22. h3 {[%emt 0:00:53]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00: 02]} 23. Ne3 {[%emt 0:00:06]} g6 {[%emt 0:01:01]} 24. Qd3 {[%emt 0:02:56]} Ke8 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 25. Nd2 {[%emt 0:00:14]} Bb7 {[%emt 0:00:22]} 26. Qc2 { [%emt 0:01:26]} Kf8 {[%emt 0:02:10]} 27. Kf1 $6 {[%emt 0:00:22] Inaccuracy. Qd3 was best.} (27. Qd3 h5) 27... Qd4 {[%emt 0:00:44]} 28. Bc3 {[%emt 0:00:24]} Qc5 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 29. b4 {[%emt 0:00:38]} Qc6 {[%emt 0:00:24]} 30. f3 { [%emt 0:00:08]} Bd8 $2 {[%emt 0:00:20] Mistake. Qb6 was best.} (30... Qb6) 31. Qd3 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Bb6 {[%emt 0:00:14]} 32. Nb3 {[%emt 0:00:13]} Nh5 { [%emt 0:00:59]} 33. Na5 $4 {[%emt 0:00:05] Blunder. Nd5 was best.} (33. Nd5 Ng3+ 34. Ke1 Kg7 35. Na5 Bxa5 36. bxa5 f5 37. Bd2 fxe4 38. fxe4 Nxe4 39. Qxe4 Qxd5) 33... Bxa5 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 34. bxa5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} b4 {[%emt 0:00:02] Normal 0-1 White resigns.} 0-1 [/pgn]

The 2020 Junior title was a true slip-through-the-fingers for Xiong. The Dallas GM led the tournament standings entirely, and entered the final round not only with a half-point lead over Burke, but a finale pairing with struggling IM Bryce Tiglon in 10th place. But while Burke was picking up his win over Balakrishnan, Tiglon wasn’t playing dead in this ninth-round brawl that pushed Xiong to the brink of losing more than just a game.   

[pgn][Event "2020 US Junior Championship"] [Site "https://lichess.org/ZvQPQu3F"] [Date "2020.10.15"] [Round "9.4"] [White "Jeffery Xiong"] [Black "Bryce Tiglon"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D80"] [WhiteElo "2790"] [BlackElo "2498"] [Annotator "https://lichess.org/@/broadcaster"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2020.??.??"] [TimeControl "1500+5"] [WhiteClock "0:02:53"] [BlackClock "0:02:06"] 1. d4 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 2. c4 {[%emt 0:00:01]} g6 {[%emt 0: 00:01]} 3. Nc3 {[%emt 0:00:01]} d5 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 4. Bg5 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Bg7 {[%emt 0:00:18]} 5. Bxf6 {[%emt 0:00:20]} Bxf6 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 6. cxd5 { [%emt 0:00:01]} c5 {[%emt 0:00:09]} 7. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:27]} cxd4 {[%emt 0:00: 36]} 8. Nxd4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Qb6 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 9. Nb3 {[%emt 0:01:30]} O-O {[%emt 0:00:52]} 10. Qd2 {[%emt 0:00:13]} a5 {[%emt 0:01:45]} 11. Rd1 {[%emt 0: 02:13]} Rd8 {[%emt 0:01:23]} 12. e3 $6 {[%emt 0:00:26] Inaccuracy. Nd4 was best.} (12. Nd4 Nc6 13. Ndb5 Na7 14. Nxa7 Qxa7 15. e4 Bd7 16. Bd3 a4 17. O-O a3 18. b3 Qa5) 12... Nc6 {[%emt 0:02:08]} 13. Be2 $6 {[%emt 0:04:06] Inaccuracy. Na4 was best.} (13. Na4) 13... Nb4 $6 {[%emt 0:01:24] Inaccuracy. a4 was best.} (13... a4) 14. a3 $6 {[%emt 0:08:33] Inaccuracy. Na4 was best.} (14. Na4 Qc7 15. e4 Bd7 16. Nac5 Nxa2 17. d6 exd6 18. Qxd6 Qxd6 19. Rxd6 Be6 20. Rxd8+ Rxd8) 14... Bxc3 {[%emt 0:00:48]} 15. Qxc3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Nxd5 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 16. Qd4 {[%emt 0:01:46]} Qxb3 {[%emt 0:02:11]} 17. Bc4 {[%emt 0:00:03]} Qc2 { [%emt 0:00:36]} 18. Bxd5 {[%emt 0:01:43]} Be6 {[%emt 0:00:43]} 19. e4 $2 { [%emt 0:00:06] Mistake. Rd2 was best.} (19. Rd2 Qc1+ 20. Rd1 Qc7 21. e4 Rd7 22. O-O Rad8 23. Rc1 Qf4 24. Qc5 Bxd5 25. exd5 Rxd5) 19... Bg4 {[%emt 0:00:58]} 20. f3 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Qxg2 {[%emt 0:00:48]} 21. Rf1 {[%emt 0:00:28]} Be6 { [%emt 0:02:34]} 22. Qf2 {[%emt 0:00:47]} Qxf2+ $6 {[%emt 0:02:59] Inaccuracy. Qg5 was best.} (22... Qg5 23. f4) 23. Rxf2 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Bxd5 {[%emt 0:00: 33]} 24. Rfd2 {[%emt 0:00:01]} e6 {[%emt 0:00:28]} 25. exd5 {[%emt 0:00:02]} exd5 $6 {[%emt 0:00:01] Inaccuracy. Rd6 was best.} (25... Rd6 26. dxe6 Rxe6+ 27. Kf2 Rb6 28. Kg3 Rb3 29. Rf2 Ra6 30. Rd5 a4 31. h4 Kg7 32. h5) 26. Rxd5 { [%emt 0:00:00]} Re8+ {[%emt 0:00:12]} 27. Kf2 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Ra6 $6 {[%emt 0: 00:07] Inaccuracy. Rac8 was best.} (27... Rac8 28. R1d2 b6 29. Rd6 Re6 30. b4 axb4 31. Rxe6 fxe6 32. axb4 Rc4 33. Rd6 Rxb4 34. Rxe6) 28. Rb5 {[%emt 0:00:17]} Re7 {[%emt 0:00:08]} 29. Rd2 {[%emt 0:00:29]} a4 {[%emt 0:00:35]} 30. Rb4 { [%emt 0:00:06]} Kg7 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 31. Kg3 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Ra5 {[%emt 0:00: 55]} 32. h4 {[%emt 0:00:03]} h6 {[%emt 0:02:05]} 33. Rdd4 {[%emt 0:00:07]} Rf5 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 34. Rf4 {[%emt 0:00:59] Normal 1/2-1/2 The game is a draw.} 1/2-1/2 [/pgn]

 With Burke catching Xiong at the finish line, the playoff first brought a pair of G/10+2 tiebreaker games, an even faster Rapid time control than already established for the tournament. Though both games ended in draws, they did not come without suffering.  

[pgn][Event "2020 US Junior Championship"] [Site "https://lichess.org/CQeuEziY"] [Date "2020.10.15"] [Round "10.1"] [White "John Burke"] [Black "Jeffery Xiong"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B30"] [WhiteElo "2655"] [BlackElo "2790"] [Annotator "https://lichess.org/@/broadcaster"] [PlyCount "83"] [EventDate "2020.??.??"] [TimeControl "600+2"] [WhiteClock "0:01:03"] [BlackClock "0:00:07"] 1. e4 {[%emt 0:00:02]} c5 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 2. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:02]} Nc6 { [%emt 0:00:01]} 3. Bb5 {[%emt 0:00:03]} e6 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 4. Bxc6 {[%emt 0: 00:06]} bxc6 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 5. b3 {[%emt 0:00:01]} e5 {[%emt 0:01:55]} 6. Nxe5 {[%emt 0:01:46]} Qe7 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 7. Bb2 {[%emt 0:00:16]} d6 {[%emt 0: 00:45]} 8. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:02]} Qxe4+ {[%emt 0:00:03]} 9. Qe2 {[%emt 0:00:21]} Qxe2+ {[%emt 0:00:30]} 10. Kxe2 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Ne7 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 11. d3 { [%emt 0:00:18]} Nd5 {[%emt 0:00:09]} 12. Re1 {[%emt 0:00:15]} f6 {[%emt 0:00: 35]} 13. Nbd2 {[%emt 0:00:16]} Kf7 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 14. Kf1 {[%emt 0:00:26]} Be7 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 15. Nc4 {[%emt 0:00:14]} a5 $6 {[%emt 0:00:12] Inaccuracy. Re8 was best.} (15... Re8 16. Ne3 Be6 17. h3 Rab8 18. Nxd5 cxd5 19. Re2 Bd8 20. Bc1 g5 21. Bd2 Bc7 22. Rae1) 16. Nfd2 $2 {[%emt 0:00:39] Mistake. Re2 was best. } (16. Re2 Bg4 17. Rae1 Rhe8 18. a4 g5 19. Bc1 Nc3 20. Re3 Nd5) 16... a4 { [%emt 0:00:09]} 17. Ne4 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Rd8 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 18. Nc3 {[%emt 0: 01:00]} Nb4 {[%emt 0:00:51]} 19. Nb6 {[%emt 0:00:20]} Ra6 $6 {[%emt 0:00:06] Inaccuracy. Ra7 was best.} (19... Ra7 20. Re2 a3 21. Bc1 Bf5 22. Kg1 d5 23. Nba4 d4 24. Ne4 c4 25. Bxa3 cxd3 26. cxd3) 20. Nxc8 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Rxc8 { [%emt 0:00:00]} 21. Re2 {[%emt 0:00:07]} a3 {[%emt 0:01:37]} 22. Bc1 $6 { [%emt 0:00:02] Inaccuracy. Rae1 was best.} (22. Rae1) 22... f5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 23. Na4 {[%emt 0:00:44]} Bf6 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 24. c3 $6 {[%emt 0:00:40] Inaccuracy. Rb1 was best.} (24. Rb1 Nxa2 25. Bxa3 Rb8 26. Bb2 Bxb2 27. Rxb2 Rxa4 28. c4 Ra3 29. Rxa2 Rbxb3 30. Rxa3 Rxa3) 24... Nxd3 {[%emt 0:01:08]} 25. Bxa3 {[%emt 0:00:02]} Bxc3 $4 {[%emt 0:00:02] Blunder. c4 was best.} (25... c4 26. Rd1) 26. Nxc3 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Rxa3 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 27. Rd2 {[%emt 0:00: 02]} c4 {[%emt 0:00:11]} 28. Nb1 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Ra7 {[%emt 0:00:28]} 29. bxc4 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Nc5 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 30. Rb2 {[%emt 0:00:17]} Ra4 {[%emt 0:00: 05]} 31. Nd2 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Rca8 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 32. Ke2 $6 {[%emt 0:00:04] Inaccuracy. Rc2 was best.} (32. Rc2 R8a6 33. Nf3 Ne4 34. Nd2 Ng5 35. h4 Ne6 36. Nf3 c5 37. Rd1 Rxa2 38. Rxa2 Rxa2) 32... Kf6 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 33. f4 $6 { [%emt 0:01:03] Inaccuracy. Rb6 was best.} (33. Rb6) 33... Ra3 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 34. g3 {[%emt 0:00:28]} Na4 {[%emt 0:00:09]} 35. Rb7 {[%emt 0:00:12]} Nc3+ $6 { [%emt 0:00:02] Inaccuracy. Nc5 was best.} (35... Nc5 36. Rb6 Rxa2 37. Rxa2 Rxa2 38. Ke3 Ra6 39. Rxa6 Nxa6 40. Nf3 Nb4 41. Nd4 c5 42. Nb5) 36. Ke1 {[%emt 0:00: 03]} Rxa2 $6 {[%emt 0:00:59] Inaccuracy. R8a6 was best.} (36... R8a6 37. Rd7 c5 38. Nb1 Nxb1 39. Rxb1 Rxa2 40. Rbb7 Rc2 41. Rf7+ Kg6 42. Kd1 Rxc4 43. Rxg7+) 37. Rxa2 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Rxa2 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 38. Rb6 $6 {[%emt 0:00:02] Inaccuracy. Rd7 was best.} (38. Rd7 Ra1+ 39. Kf2 Rd1 40. Rxd6+ Ke7 41. Rd3 Ne4+ 42. Ke2 Rxd2+ 43. Rxd2 Nxd2 44. Kxd2 Kd6) 38... Ra1+ $6 {[%emt 0:00:21] Inaccuracy. Ne4 was best.} (38... Ne4 39. Nxe4+) 39. Kf2 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Ra2 { [%emt 0:00:01]} 40. Ke1 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Ra1+ {[%emt 0:00:05]} 41. Kf2 { [%emt 0:00:02]} Ra2 $6 {[%emt 0:00:15] Inaccuracy. Ke6 was best.} (41... Ke6 42. Rxc6 Ra2 43. Ke1 Kd7 44. Rb6 Kc7 45. Rb3 Rc2 46. Nf3 Ne4 47. Nd4 Rc1+ 48. Ke2) 42. Ke1 {[%emt 0:00:02] Normal 1/2-1/2 The game is a draw.} 1/2-1/2 [/pgn]
 

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GMs John Burke and Jeffery Xiong in the 2020 U.S. Junior Championship playoff.
Image Caption
GMs John Burke and Jeffery Xiong in the 2020 U.S. Junior Championship playoff.

[pgn][Event "2020 US Junior Championship"] [Site "https://lichess.org/VOGiqJ0b"] [Date "2020.10.15"] [Round "11.1"] [White "Jeffery Xiong"] [Black "John Burke"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C45"] [WhiteElo "2790"] [BlackElo "2655"] [Annotator "https://lichess.org/@/broadcaster"] [PlyCount "106"] [EventDate "2020.??.??"] [TimeControl "600+2"] [WhiteClock "0:00:19"] [BlackClock "0:00:19"] 1. e4 {[%emt 0:00:02]} e5 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 2. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Nc6 { [%emt 0:00:01]} 3. d4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} exd4 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 4. Nxd4 {[%emt 0: 00:00]} Bc5 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 5. Nxc6 {[%emt 0:00:02]} bxc6 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 6. Bd3 {[%emt 0:00:10]} Qh4 {[%emt 0:00:21]} 7. Qe2 {[%emt 0:00:12]} Nf6 {[%emt 0: 00:05]} 8. Be3 {[%emt 0:00:23]} Bxe3 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 9. Qxe3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} d6 {[%emt 0:00:27]} 10. Nd2 {[%emt 0:00:10]} Ng4 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 11. Qg3 { [%emt 0:01:03]} Qxg3 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 12. hxg3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Rb8 {[%emt 0: 00:05]} 13. b3 {[%emt 0:00:14]} O-O {[%emt 0:00:15]} 14. f3 {[%emt 0:00:12]} Ne5 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 15. Nc4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Nxc4 {[%emt 0:00:52]} 16. Bxc4 { [%emt 0:00:00]} Be6 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 17. Bd3 {[%emt 0:00:30]} f5 $2 {[%emt 0: 00:52] Mistake. h6 was best.} (17... h6) 18. Kd2 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Rbe8 { [%emt 0:00:58]} 19. Rae1 {[%emt 0:00:24]} f4 {[%emt 0:01:04]} 20. gxf4 { [%emt 0:01:35]} Rxf4 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 21. e5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} g6 {[%emt 0:00: 22]} 22. exd6 {[%emt 0:00:27]} cxd6 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 23. Re3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Bd7 {[%emt 0:00:14]} 24. Rhe1 {[%emt 0:01:05]} Rxe3 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 25. Kxe3 { [%emt 0:00:00]} Rf6 {[%emt 0:00:17]} 26. Kd4 {[%emt 0:00:08]} Kf7 {[%emt 0:00: 06]} 27. b4 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Rf4+ {[%emt 0:00:04]} 28. Re4 {[%emt 0:00:02]} Rxe4+ {[%emt 0:00:56]} 29. Bxe4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Ke6 $6 {[%emt 0:00:11] Inaccuracy. h6 was best.} (29... h6 30. f4) 30. c4 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Be8 { [%emt 0:00:02]} 31. f4 {[%emt 0:00:04]} h6 {[%emt 0:00:22]} 32. c5 $2 {[%emt 0: 00:24] Mistake. a4 was best.} (32. a4 Ke7 33. a5 Kd7 34. Bd3 Bf7 35. b5 Kc7 36. g4 Be8 37. Be4 cxb5 38. cxb5 Bxb5) 32... g5 {[%emt 0:00:55]} 33. fxg5 $6 { [%emt 0:01:20] Inaccuracy. f5+ was best.} (33. f5+) 33... hxg5 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 34. Bf3 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Ke7 {[%emt 0:00:13]} 35. a4 {[%emt 0:00:12]} Bd7 { [%emt 0:00:15]} 36. Be4 {[%emt 0:00:09]} Ke6 {[%emt 0:00:10]} 37. Bd3 {[%emt 0: 00:02]} Ke7 {[%emt 0:00:13]} 38. Be2 {[%emt 0:00:10]} Be8 {[%emt 0:00:24]} 39. Bg4 {[%emt 0:00:02]} Bf7 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 40. Bf3 {[%emt 0:00:03]} Be8 { [%emt 0:00:02]} 41. Be4 {[%emt 0:00:20]} Bd7 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 42. Bd3 {[%emt 0: 00:06]} Be8 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 43. Ba6 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Bd7 {[%emt 0:00:09]} 44. Bb7 {[%emt 0:00:12]} Be8 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 45. Ke4 {[%emt 0:00:12]} Bd7 { [%emt 0:00:26]} 46. Ba6 {[%emt 0:00:47]} Be6 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 47. Kd4 {[%emt 0: 00:02]} Bd7 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 48. Bc4 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Be8 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 49. Bd3 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Bd7 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 50. Be4 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Be8 { [%emt 0:00:01]} 51. Bf3 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Bd7 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 52. Be2 {[%emt 0: 00:08]} Be8 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 53. Bd3 {[%emt 0:00:07]} Bd7 {[%emt 0:00:02] Normal 1/2-1/2 The game is a draw.} 1/2-1/2 [/pgn]

 “Even though Jeffery did have very good positions in the two rapid games we played, the onus was on him to convert,” Burke said. “I was able to hang, even though it felt like I was clinging to life that whole playoff. Once we got to Armageddon, that’s the moment it became more of an ‘online’ chess tournament.”  

In that online ending, Burke fought back as underdog in more ways than just a ratings deficit to the super GM Xiong. The Armageddon tiebreaker featured Burke with the black pieces and draw odds, as well as a 60-second deficit – only four minutes to Xiong’s five – and no increment to aid clock recovery. And fighting the clock wasn’t the worst of it: Burke found himself cleanly down a pawn in the Scotch middlegame, with Xiong hurtling toward liquidation.  

Pivotal was 41. b4, which dropped Xiong’s h-pawn advantage for nothing and led to an incredible harassment by the black rooks, chasing the white monarch in a dance around its f-pawn. And with material advantage dissipated, the clock came next, as Xiong took more than 30 seconds – nearly half his remaining clock – to produce 59. b6.   

Still, Xiong led even in the dead sprint to the finish line, promoting two pawns and even showing a lopsided, final position – only with all zeros on his clock.  

[pgn][Event "2020 US Junior Championship"] [Site "https://lichess.org/aA9qY8wW"] [Date "2020.10.15"] [Round "12.1"] [White "Jeffery Xiong"] [Black "John Burke"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C47"] [WhiteElo "2790"] [BlackElo "2655"] [Annotator "https://lichess.org/@/broadcaster"] [PlyCount "176"] [EventDate "2020.??.??"] [TimeControl "240"] [WhiteClock "0:00:01"] [BlackClock "0:00:04"] 1. e4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} e5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 2. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Nc6 { [%emt 0:00:01]} 3. Nc3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 4. d4 {[%emt 0:00: 00]} exd4 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 5. Nxd4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Bb4 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 6. Nxc6 {[%emt 0:00:00]} bxc6 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 7. Bd3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} O-O { [%emt 0:00:03]} 8. O-O {[%emt 0:00:00]} d5 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 9. exd5 {[%emt 0: 00:00]} cxd5 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 10. Qf3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} c6 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 11. h3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Rb8 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 12. Bf4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Bd6 {[%emt 0: 00:01]} 13. b3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Re8 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 14. Rfe1 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Be6 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 15. Ne2 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Qc7 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 16. Rad1 { [%emt 0:00:00]} Bxf4 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 17. Nxf4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Bd7 {[%emt 0: 00:01]} 18. c4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} d4 $6 {[%emt 0:00:12] Inaccuracy. Qa5 was best. } (18... Qa5 19. Rxe8+) 19. Nh5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Nxh5 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 20. Qxh5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} g6 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 21. Qc5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Qb6 {[%emt 0:00: 11]} 22. Qd6 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Be6 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 23. c5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Qd8 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 24. Qxc6 {[%emt 0:00:20]} Qg5 $6 {[%emt 0:00:19] Inaccuracy. Qa5 was best.} (24... Qa5 25. Bc4) 25. Bf1 $6 {[%emt 0:00:52] Inaccuracy. Qd6 was best.} (25. Qd6) 25... Rbc8 {[%emt 0:00:08]} 26. Qa4 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Qxc5 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 27. Qxd4 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Qc7 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 28. Qf6 { [%emt 0:00:05]} Qe7 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 29. Qxe7 {[%emt 0:00:02]} Rxe7 {[%emt 0: 00:00]} 30. Rd4 $6 {[%emt 0:00:01] Inaccuracy. Bc4 was best.} (30. Bc4 Rc6) 30... Kf8 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 31. Ra4 {[%emt 0:00:08]} Rc2 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 32. Ra5 $6 {[%emt 0:00:01] Inaccuracy. Bc4 was best.} (32. Bc4 Bxc4 33. Rxe7 Rc1+ 34. Kh2 Kxe7 35. bxc4 a6 36. Rxa6 Rxc4 37. Ra7+ Ke6 38. g3 g5) 32... Kg7 $6 { [%emt 0:00:07] Inaccuracy. Rd7 was best.} (32... Rd7 33. f3 h6 34. h4 Rdd2 35. Ra1 Rc7 36. Kh2 Bd5 37. Kg3 g5 38. Ra6 Kg7 39. hxg5) 33. Bc4 {[%emt 0:00:07]} Kf6 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 34. Ra6 {[%emt 0:00:02]} h5 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 35. h4 { [%emt 0:00:03]} Rb2 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 36. Re3 {[%emt 0:00:02]} Rd2 {[%emt 0:00: 07]} 37. a4 {[%emt 0:00:16]} Rb2 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 38. Bxe6 {[%emt 0:00:02]} fxe6 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 39. Rf3+ {[%emt 0:00:02]} Kg7 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 40. Kh2 { [%emt 0:00:01]} Rc2 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 41. b4 $2 {[%emt 0:00:03] Mistake. Kg3 was best.} (41. Kg3) 41... Rc4 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 42. b5 {[%emt 0:00:02]} Rxh4+ { [%emt 0:00:00]} 43. Kg1 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Rb4 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 44. Rc3 {[%emt 0: 00:04]} Kf6 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 45. Rc8 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Rd7 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 46. Rf8+ {[%emt 0:00:03]} Ke7 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 47. Rh8 {[%emt 0:00:14]} Rd1+ { [%emt 0:00:01]} 48. Kh2 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Rh4+ {[%emt 0:00:03]} 49. Kg3 { [%emt 0:00:00]} Rg4+ {[%emt 0:00:00]} 50. Kf3 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Rd3+ {[%emt 0: 00:05]} 51. Ke2 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Rgd4 $2 {[%emt 0:00:03] Mistake. Ra3 was best. } (51... Ra3) 52. Rxa7+ {[%emt 0:00:02]} Kf6 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 53. Rf8+ { [%emt 0:00:01]} Ke5 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 54. g3 {[%emt 0:00:02]} Rd2+ $6 {[%emt 0: 00:02] Inaccuracy. h4 was best.} (54... h4 55. gxh4) 55. Kf1 {[%emt 0:00:01]} h4 $4 {[%emt 0:00:04] Blunder. Rb2 was best.} (55... Rb2 56. Kg2 h4 57. Ra5 hxg3 58. Kxg3 Rdb4 59. Ra6 Ra2 60. b6 Ra3+ 61. Rf3 Ra1 62. Rd3) 56. gxh4 $4 { [%emt 0:00:02] Blunder. b6 was best.} (56. b6) 56... Rd1+ {[%emt 0:00:02]} 57. Kg2 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Rg4+ {[%emt 0:00:05]} 58. Kf3 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Rxh4 $4 { [%emt 0:00:01] Blunder. Rb4 was best.} (58... Rb4) 59. b6 {[%emt 0:00:33]} Rh3+ {[%emt 0:00:05]} 60. Kg2 {[%emt 0:00:03]} Rb3 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 61. a5 $6 { [%emt 0:00:01] Inaccuracy. b7 was best.} (61. b7 Rd7 62. b8=Q+ Rxb8 63. Ra5+ Kd4 64. Rxb8 Re7 65. Rg5 e5 66. Rxg6 Kc5 67. a5 Kc4) 61... Rd4 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 62. b7 {[%emt 0:00:09]} Rg4+ {[%emt 0:00:01]} 63. Kf1 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Rb1+ { [%emt 0:00:01]} 64. Ke2 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Rb2+ $6 {[%emt 0:00:05] Inaccuracy. Re4+ was best.} (64... Re4+ 65. Kd3) 65. Kd3 $4 {[%emt 0:00:03] Blunder. Kf3 was best.} (65. Kf3 Rgb4 66. a6 R2b3+ 67. Ke2 Rb2+ 68. Kf1 g5 69. Kg2 Rg4+ 70. Kf3 Rgb4 71. Raa8 g4+) 65... Rb3+ $4 {[%emt 0:00:01] Blunder. Rd4+ was best.} ( 65... Rd4+ 66. Kc3 Rdb4 67. a6 R4b3+ 68. Kc4 Rb6 69. Rd8 Ke4 70. Rd4+ Kf3 71. Rd3+ Kxf2 72. Ra3) 66. Kc2 {[%emt 0:00:02]} Rgb4 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 67. a6 { [%emt 0:00:06]} Rb2+ {[%emt 0:00:01]} 68. Kd1 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Rb1+ {[%emt 0: 00:00]} 69. Ke2 {[%emt 0:00:01]} R1b2+ $6 {[%emt 0:00:00] Inaccuracy. Ke4 was best.} (69... Ke4 70. Rd8) 70. Kf1 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Rb1+ {[%emt 0:00:01]} 71. Kg2 {[%emt 0:00:01]} R1b3 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 72. Raa8 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Rg4+ { [%emt 0:00:01]} 73. Kf1 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Rb1+ {[%emt 0:00:00]} 74. Ke2 { [%emt 0:00:00]} Rb2+ {[%emt 0:00:00]} 75. Kd3 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Rb3+ {[%emt 0: 00:01]} 76. Kc2 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Rgb4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 77. b8=Q+ {[%emt 0:00: 01]} Rxb8 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 78. Raxb8 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Ra3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 79. Rb5+ {[%emt 0:00:00]} Kd4 $4 {[%emt 0:00:01] Checkmate is now unavoidable. Kd6 was best.} (79... Kd6 80. Rb6+) 80. Rb6 $6 {[%emt 0:00:00] Lost forced checkmate sequence. Rf4# was best.} (80. Rf4#) 80... Kc5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 81. Rfb8 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Ra2+ {[%emt 0:00:01]} 82. Kb3 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Rxf2 $6 { [%emt 0:00:00] Checkmate is now unavoidable. Ra1 was best.} (82... Ra1 83. Kb2 Ra4 84. Rxe6 g5 85. Re5+ Kc6 86. Rxg5 Kc7 87. a7 Rxa7 88. Rg7+ Kxb8 89. Rxa7) 83. Rb5+ {[%emt 0:00:00]} Kd4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 84. R5b6 $6 {[%emt 0:00:00] Lost forced checkmate sequence. a7 was best.} (84. a7 Rf3+ 85. Kb4 Ke3 86. a8=Q Rf5 87. Qg2 Kf4 88. Rd8 Rd5 89. Rbxd5 exd5 90. Qxd5 Kg4) 84... Ke3 $4 {[%emt 0: 00:00] Checkmate is now unavoidable. Rf3+ was best.} (84... Rf3+ 85. Kb4) 85. a7 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Rf3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 86. Ka4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Kf2 {[%emt 0: 00:00]} 87. a8=Q {[%emt 0:00:02]} Re3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 88. Rf8+ {[%emt 0:00:01] } Ke1 {[%emt 0:00:01] Time forfeit 0-1 Black wins on time.} 0-1 [/pgn]

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