Friday, October 9, 2009

Watch out, Ray Robson! This Utah boy got game!

THE Chess Connoisseur predicts that IM Ray Robson would obtain his third and final grandmaster norm before this year is over and become USA’s youngest grandmaster ever. Robson, 14 years old, missed the target by a mere half-point in the 2009 SPICE Cup B tournament held recently at Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas.

But don’t look now! It may not take long before Ray gets competition from a Utah kid three years his junior.

Look at these accomplishments:

• Gold Medal Winner North America Youth Championship 2009
• Member of the 1st Place 2009 Utah Championship Team
• 2009 Utah State Quick Chess Champion
• 2009 Utah State Bughouse Champion with partner DamianNash
• 2009 Utah State Chess 960 Champion
• June 2009 Top in the Nation for 10 year olds and Quick Under 13
• 2009 Utah State 5th Grade Elementary Champion
• 2009 Utah State G60 Chess Champion
• Invited as one of 8 youth in the nation to attend the US Chess School to be held in NY in July
• 2009 Utah State Speed Chess Champion (never won by a scholastic K-12 player before)
• 2007 to Present - Teaching Assistant TNT Chess Camp run by the Troff and Treiman Families Top 20 in the Nation for the 2008 Junior Grand Prix
• 2008 Junior Grand Prix Utah Champion December
• 2008 - 2nd Place in the 5th Grade National K-12 tournament in Orlando, Florida
• March 2008 - K-6 Utah State Elementary Blitz Champion
• March 2008 - Utah State 4th Grade Elementary Champion
• 2008 National All American Chess Team
• July 2007 - 1st Place Utah Class B USCF Tournament
• March 2007 - Utah State 3rd Grade Elementary Champion
• 2006-2007 Utah Scholastic Grand Prix Champion (5 tournaments throughout Utah with a perfect 25-0 score)
• March 2006 - Utah State 2nd Grade Elementary Champion
• February 4, 2006 - Won his first USCF rated tournament (first time tournament was ever won by a 2nd Grader)
• 2005-2006 Helped instruct Elk Ridge Middle School Chess Team
• March 2005 - Utah State Elementary First Grade Champion

Remember this name: Kayden William Troff from West Jordan, Utah.

Kayden Troff (Photo: Kayden Troff's album at

Kayden (born 1998) is acknowledged as a chess prodigy – Utah’s own “Mozart of Chess” — because of his numerous extraordinary chess accomplishments at a very young age.

He is the reigning North American Youth Champion under age 12, winning the Gold Medal in Mazatlan, Mexico as a representative of the USA. At the same event—Kayden’s first international competition—where he won the medal he became a Candidate Master. At eleven he is also the highest rated chess tournament player in the State of Utah. He is the current Utah state champion for all ages of several time controls and chess variants: Game in one hour, Game in 15 minutes (quick chess), Game in 5 minutes (speed chess), Chess960 (Fischer random chess) and Bughouse Chess (partner chess).

In Mazatlan, Kayden and nine other American youth were selected to compete for the USA. The team came away with four gold medals and two bronze medals. By virtue of winning this event, Kayden has earned a right to represent the USA and compete for the gold in the Pan American Youth Championships in Brazil in 2010. Additionally, it is expected that he will be named to represent the USA in the 2010 World Youth Championships in Greece.

Kayden’s current ratings are: FIDE rating 2174, USCF rating = 2186, USCF quick rating = 2180 (#1 in the USA for under age 13) (June and August 2009)

After making it to number one in the nation on the 10 year old list, Kayden turned 11 and moved to number 3 for all 11 year olds. However, he remains number one on the Quick Under 13 list once again!

Kayden is now officially the highest rated active player in the state of Utah on both his standard and quick rating.

Here is an interesting game played by Kayden at the Utah Expert series #2:

Kayden Troff's opponent in this game, Tony Chen, age 15, has been in the top 50 in his age group since he started playing tournaments many years ago.

Tony Chen – Kayden Troff
Expert Series #2, 28.03.2009 Queen’s Pawn [D00]

1.d4 d5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.f3 c5 4.e4 e6 5.Be3 cxd4 6.Qxd4 Nc6 7.Bb5 Bd7 8.Bxc6

After 8.Qd2 a6 9.exd5 axb5 10.dxc6 Bxc6 11.Qxd8+ Rxd8, Black is slightly better.

8... bxc6 9.exd5 exd5 10.0–0–0 Be7 11.Bg5 0–0 12.h4?!

On 12.Nge2 Re8, Black has the advantage.

12...Re8 13.g4

If 13.Qd2, then 13... Qb6 is advantageous for Black.

13... c5 14.Qf4?

Better is 14.Qd2 d4 15.Bxf6 Bxf6 16.Ne4, but Black still has a clear, if not winning, advantage (development, two bishops, active pieces and control of open files).

14...d4 15.Bxf6 Bxf6 16.Ne4 Be5 17.Qd2 Qb8!?

This move shows the boy has talent although still raw. Better was 17...Qb6!?, with the same idea without bottling up his a8-rook.

18.Ne2 d3?!

Eager beaver. Still not too late and better was 18... Qb6, with a winning game for Black.

19.cxd3 Bb5 20.f4?

20.Qc2!? may be tried. (See diagram)

20...Bxd3! 21.N4c3 Bxe2 22.Nxe2 Bxb2+!

Identical would be 22… Qxb2+ 23.Qxb2 Bxb2+ 24.Kxb2 Rxe2+.

23.Qxb2 Qxb2+ 24.Kxb2 Rxe2+ 25.Ka1 Re4!

Kayden’s endgame technique, although still needs polishing, is sound. He brought home the point without much difficulty.

26.Rhf1 Rc8 27.Rd7 a5 28.Kb2 c4 29.Kc3 Re3+ 30.Kd2 Rh3 31.Rc1? h6 32.a4 c3+ 33.Ke2 Rc4!

A very efficient finish.

34.Rd3 Re4+ 0–1

Photo from Kayden Troff blogsite
Read more stories about Kayden and his chess exploits from the following:


1 comment:

  1. How about this for the latest news on Kayden! He is the Gold Medalist and North American Champion for U12 this past weekend in Mazatlan as reported on US Chess Life online. Great article on an upcoming star!!!