IM Xiong vs. FM Bodek
Opening: B76: Sicilian dragon Yugoslav Attack
Player(s): Xiong, Bodek
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Kayden Troff is the 2014 U.S. Junior Champion. He won with an impressive 7-2 score, a point and a half clear of the field. Troff came in as the favorite after making a plus score in the 2013 U.S. Championship and garnering the GM title in the last year, though he had never made a plus score in the Junior before..
Troff scored points throughout the tournament, which separated him from would-be challengers. Sam Sevian had a big finish but a dreadful start. Jeffery Xiong, who will be seen in this week's game, had a 4.5/5 start but faltered down the stretch. Xiong's opponent in our game, Michael Bodek, defeated several top finishers like Luke Harmon-Vellotti and the tournament winner, but wasn't quite able to keep pace. Xiong and Bodek met in the eighth round, with both players anxious for a win to keep chances for first. You can see that desperation in some of the moves, which led to an entertaining finish.