Vaidya Wins US Junior Open in New Orleans

Atulya Vaidya, 2018 US Junior Open Champion
Atulya Vaidya, 18, of Texas won clear first in the US Junior Open, held from June 22-24 in New Orleans. The University of Texas at Austin freshman scored 5.5/6, a half point ahead of his nearest rival, Joseph Truelson. This performance, which he said, "might have been the best tournament I ever played," wins Atulya a spot into the prestigious 2019 US Junior Closed Championships. Earning that ticket was Atulya's main goal for the event, "especially since this was my penultimate year to qualify." This year's Junior Closed will be held in Saint Louis from July 12-21. Jeffery Xiong won the event in 2016 and Awonder Liang in 2017, prompting Atulya to tell US Chess. " I'm looking forward to playing against some of the best juniors in not only the US but in the entire world." Atulya picked out his game against 2016 Junior Open Champ Bovey Liu as his favorite of the event:

[Event "2018 US Junior Open "]
[Site "Kenner, LA"]
[Date "2018.06.24"]
[White "Vaidya,  Atulya"]
[Black "Liu, Bovey"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2292"]
[BlackElo "2337"]
[PlyCount "79"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d6 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 O-O 7. e4 e5 8. Bd3
Nc6 9. Ne2 b6 10. O-O Ba6 11. f4 Nd7 12. f5 h6 13. Be3 Na5 14. Qa2 Nf6 15. h3
Re8 16. Ng3 Qe7 17. Qe2 Bb7 18. Rae1 Ba6 19. Rf2 Rac8 20. Ref1 c6 21. Nh5 Nxh5
22. f6 Nxf6 23. Rxf6 gxf6 24. Qg4+ Kh7 25. Qf5+ Kg7 26. Qg4+ Kh7 27. Qh5 Qf8
28. Rxf6 Qg7 29. Rxf7 Re6 30. Qf5+ Rg6 31. Rxg7+ Kxg7 32. Qd7+ Kh8 33. c5 Bb7
34. cxd6 Rcg8 35. g4 Bc8 36. Qe7 Be6 37. d7 Nb7 38. d5 cxd5 39. exd5 Rxg4+ 40.
hxg4 1-0

"As usual, the tournament was run very well and I'm very very happy with my play and the end result." Browse full standings from the US Junior Open here. The event was concurrent with the US Senior Open here, which Yuri Anatolievich Barnakov won. Nathan Resika will follow up his preview of the US Senior with a report from New Orleans next week. 

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