Grandmaster Jeffery Xiong new World Junior Champion!

Jeffery-Xiong-with-dad Jeffery with his dad

GM Jeffery Xiong became the first US player to win the World Junior Championship in almost two decades. This year's edition was held in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India from August 7-22. The 15-year-old from Dallas, Texas clinched the title with a full round to spare, drawing praise from numerous chess fans and professionals, all the way up to Garry Kasparov.

  Find more comments from Kasparov on chess.com.

Jeffery Xiong proved that his 2600 is no accident. Photo: Austin Fuller Photo: Austin Fuller

Xiong becomes the seventh US player to win this title, joining the likes of  William Lombardy (1957)  Mark Diesen (1976), Yasser Seirawan (1979), Maxim Dlugy (1985), Ilya Gurevich (1990) and Tal Shaked (1997). After earning a commanding lead with some fine endgame play, Jeffery clinched the title with this victory on the black side of a Closed Sicilian:

[pgn] [Event "WJCC 1-10"] [Site "KIIT University"] [Date "2016.08.20"] [Round "12.1"] [White "Bersamina, Paulo"] [Black "Xiong, Jeffery"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B23"] [WhiteElo "2402"] [BlackElo "2633"] [PlyCount "155"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:21:05"] [BlackClock "0:12:02"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 d6 3. f4 Nc6 4. Nf3 g6 5. Bb5 Bd7 6. O-O Bg7 7. Bc4 Na5 8. Be2 Nf6 9. Qe1 Nc6 10. Bc4 Nd4 11. Qh4 b5 12. Nxd4 cxd4 13. Nxb5 Qb6 14. a4 a6 15. a5 Qc6 16. Na3 Nxe4 17. d3 Nf6 18. Nb1 d5 19. Bb3 Qc5 20. Re1 Ng4 21. Re2 Ne3 22. h3 O-O 23. Qe1 Rab8 24. Ra3 Rfc8 25. Kh1 Bf5 26. Bxe3 dxe3 27. Rxe3 Bxb2 28. Ra2 Bd4 29. Rf3 h5 30. Nd2 Bc3 31. Qf2 e6 32. Qxc5 Rxc5 33. Nf1 Rxa5 34. Rxa5 Bxa5 35. Kh2 Bc3 36. g3 a5 37. Ne3 Rb4 38. g4 hxg4 39. hxg4 Bxd3 40. Ng2 a4 41. Bxa4 Be4 42. Rxc3 Rxa4 43. Ne1 Ra1 44. Re3 Rc1 45. Re2 Kf8 46. Kg3 Ke7 47. g5 Kd6 48. Kf2 Bf5 49. Nd3 Rh1 50. Ne5 Rh2+ 51. Ke3 d4+ 52. Kd2 Rxe2+ 53. Kxe2 Kd5 54. Kd2 Ke4 55. Nxf7 Kxf4 56. c3 d3 57. Nd6 e5 58. Nc4 e4 59. Ne3 Kxg5 60. Ke1 Bg4 61. Nd5 Kf5 62. Kd2 Ke5 63. Ne7 g5 64. Ke3 Bf3 65. c4 g4 66. Ng6+ Kd6 67. Nh4 Kc5 68. Nf5 Kxc4 69. Kd2 Kd5 70. Ke3 Ke6 71. Ng3 Ke5 72. Nf1 Kf5 73. Ng3+ Kg5 74. Nf1 Kh4 75. Kf2 Kh3 76. Ke3 g3 77. Nd2 g2 78. Kf2 0-1 [/pgn]
His other victories included this exciting round 8 victory and wins vs two other top seeds in this earlier report.
[pgn] [Event "World Junior Championship"] [Site "Bhubaneswar"] [Date "2016.08.15"] [Round "8.2"] [White "Xiong, Jeffery"] [Black "Aravindh, Chithambaram Vr"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2633"] [BlackElo "2543"] [PlyCount "85"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [WhiteTeam "United States"] [BlackTeam "India"] [WhiteTeamCountry "USA"] [BlackTeamCountry "IND"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. d3 Bg7 6. h3 b6 7. Nc3 Nf6 8. Be3 O-O 9. Qd2 Re8 10. Nh2 e5 11. O-O-O a5 12. Na4 Be6 13. Kb1 Nd7 14. Ng4 Qe7 15. Nh6+ Kh8 16. h4 b5 17. Nc3 f6 18. h5 Bxh6 19. Bxh6 g5 20. Rdf1 Qf7 21. g3 b4 22. Na4 Bxa2+ 23. Ka1 c4 24. f4 exf4 25. gxf4 cxd3 26. fxg5 dxc2 27. gxf6 Bb1 28. Bg7+ Kg8 29. b3 Nc5 30. Nxc5 a4 31. Kb2 axb3 32. Nxb3 c1=Q+ 33. Nxc1 Bxe4 34. Rhg1 Ra5 35. Rg5 c5 36. Rfg1 c4 37. Qxb4 c3+ 38. Qxc3 Rb8+ 39. Nb3 Rxg5 40. Rxg5 Bd5 41. Bh6+ Kh8 42. Rxd5 Rxb3+ 43. Qxb3 1-0 [/pgn]
See final standings here. In the Girls Under 20 Championship, WGM Dinara Saduakassova took clear first, while US Chess representative Ashritha Eswaran scored 4.5/13. Find out more about Xiong's victory in an upcoming issue of Chess Life Magazine. 

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[…] to World Junior Champion Jeffery Xiong for winning the prestigious 2017 Samford Fellowship! Xiong joins a top-notch collection of American […]

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