Chess Tournament at the University of Utah

The outcome of the 2016 Utah Speed Championship was played by the book, as Grandmaster Kayden Troff won the tournament, in the open section, with a perfect score: 14-0. The second place finisher was four points behind the young grandmaster: Bryan Leaño at 10-4. This quick-play chess tourney was held on February 27th, at the University of Utah.


Troff plays Blitz chess after the tournament

Grandmaster Kayden Troff (left) won the speed tournament with a perfect score: 14-0


Open Section of the Utah Speed Championship of 2016

Kayden Troff: 14-0

Bryan Leaño: 10-4

Matthew Boren: 9-5

Alexander Gustafsson: 8½-5½

Alex Hall: 8½-5½

Stephen Gordon: 7½-6½

Josh Smith: 7½-6½

Frank Rockwood: 7-7

Charles Rasmussen: 6-8

Jamie Olsen-Mills: 6-8

Adam Stevenson: 6-8

Jeffrey Scott: 6-8

Grant Hodson: 2-12


tournament director with Grant

Tournament director Steve Hoisington (left) and Grant Hodson (standing)


Reserve Section of the Tournament (unrated and under 1500 rating)

Vahan Kardzhyan: 8-2

Matthew C. Larson: 6-4

Charles (Chip) Evans: 6-4

Henry Chen: 6-4

Brendon Young: 4-6

Jerry Zheng: 0-10


2nd place and 1st place winners in reserve section

Larson (left) and Kardzhyan (first-place winner) after the tournament


Tournament Tidbits

After winning all fourteen games in the open section, Kayden Troff seems to have gained only nine points in his Blitz rating: It is now 2545 (he is #29 in the USCF national rating list for Blitz). None of his competitors in this tournament had close to his rating, so his perfect score improved the seventeen-year-old’s rating only slightly.

Adam Stevenson, who was unrated before the event, now has a provisional rating of 1636 in Blitz.

Frank Rockwood gained 100 points in his provisional rating, which now stands at 1738.

Alexander Gustafsson, who placed fourth in the open section, gained 75 points: He’s now at 1947.

Bryan Leaño, who got second prize under Kayden Troff, passed the 2100-level in Blitz: now 2109.

In the reserve section, Henry Chen gained 145 points in his provisional rating: now 990.

Matthew Larson has graduated from a provisional rating: now a regular Blitz rating of 1030.

Jerry Zheng was the youngest competitor at seven years old.

Jamie Olsen-Mills was the only female; we need more lady participants in the future.


Jamie Olsen-Mills in open section of tournemant

Jamie played in the section with the stronger competitors


7-year-old in chess tournament

Jerry Zheng (right) and his younger brother (chess event: a speed-chess tournament at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City)



Grandmaster Kayden Troff wins chess tournament

Second place went to Bryan Leaño, who scored 10-4. Matthew Boren got third prize at 9-5. Fourth place was shared by Alexander Gustafsson and Alex Hall at 8½-5½.

Chess Book Reviews

Three publications:

  • Smerdon’s Scandinavian (opening)
  • Beat That Kid in Chess (for beginners)
  • The Dragon (opening)

New Chess Book for Beginners

Whether for your own enjoyment or for that of the person who receives a gift-book from you, the choice of a book on chess should depend on the playing level of the one who reads the book.