ST. LOUIS, July 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In the closing ceremony last night, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL) crowned International Master Marc Arnold, 19, of New York City, the 2012 U.S. Junior Chess Champion.
The Junior Closed Championship is an invitation-only tournament that features the top chess players in the nation under the age of 21. Alongside the U.S. Chess Championship and U.S. Women's Championship, the Junior Closed Championship completes the "Triple Crown" of the three most prestigious chess tournaments in the country.
Arnold beat out 16 other players in a split round-robin tournament with a playoff final to clinch the title and the first-place prize of $4,000. As the winner of the U.S. Junior Closed Championship, Arnold will also receive an invitation to the 2013 U.S. Chess Championship, which is scheduled to be held in Saint Louis next year.
"I'm honored to have won this tournament because the competition was really tough," said Arnold. "I'm looking forward to getting a chance to come back to Saint Louis to compete with the nation's best at the U.S. Championship next year."
Arnold was ranked first by rating out of the 16 competitors and was considered one of the favorites coming onto the tournament. The 16 players were split into two groups of eight, and the winner of each section squared off in a head-to-head playoff for the title. Arnold went undefeated in his round-robin section, scoring five points out of seven games, to secure his spot in the playoff finals.
"Marc did an amazing job and fought hard throughout the entire tournament," said Tony Rich, executive director of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. "Our hope is that his passion for the game and the amazing sportsmanship he has demonstrated will encourage and inspire other young chess players across the country to become more active chess players."
Arnold defeated Alec Getz, 18, also of New York City, who was the winner of the other round-robin section, in a two-game playoff final. Getz received $3,000 for second place and entered the tournament ranked eighth out of the 16 players.
The junior tournament's winnings for first through last place totaled $18,000.
About The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis
The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that is committed to making chess an important part of our community. In addition to providing a forum for the community to play tournaments and casual games, the club also offers chess improvement classes, beginner lessons and special lectures.
Recognizing the cognitive and behavioral benefits of chess, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center is committed to supporting those chess programs that already exist in area schools while encouraging the development of new in-school and after-school programs. For more information, visit www.saintlouischessclub.org.
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SOURCE The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis