2014 US Girls Junior

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From organizer, Alex Relyea: "The quad-champions of the 2014 US Junior Girls Invitational were Claudia Munoz, Apurva Virkud, Maggie Feng, and Akshita Gorti.  Munoz was awarded the scholarship to the University of New Hampshire on tie-break. This tournament was very hard fought, with the lead changing almost every round.  Quad-champions, with two more players just half a point back shows just how tight the tournament was.  Special thanks to the University of New Hampshire for its sponsorship.  All of the players are very nice people, and it was an honor to spend five days with them."

QUAD-CHAMPIONS: Munoz, Feng, Virkud & Gorti

Yu Munoz Ding Yip Gorti Dong Feng Lampman Wiener Virkud Total
Yu X 0 1/2 1 0 1 0 1 1 1/2 5.0
Munoz 1 X 1 0 1 1/2 1/2 1/2 1 0 5.5
Ding 1/2 0 X 1/2 0 1 1/2 1/2 1 1/2 4.5
Yip 0 1 1/2 X 0 1/2 1/2 0 1/2 1 4.0
Gorti 1 0 1 1 X 0 1/2 1/2 1 1/2 5.5
Dong 0 1/2 0 1/2 1 X 1/2 0 1 0 3.5
Feng 1 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 X 1/2 1 1/2 5.5
Lampman 0 1/2 1/2 1 1/2 1 1/2 X 1/2 1/2 5.0
Wiener 0 0 0 1/2 0 0 0 1/2 X 0 1.0
Virkud 1/2 1 1/2 0 1/2 1 1/2 1/2 1 X 5.5

University of New Hampshire Manchester, 3rd floor University Center
400 Commercial St, Manchester, NH 03101

Special "Basics of Chess" class taught by Vince Bradley & Eugene Tappen from 1-3pm in the auditorium at UNH Manchester on Friday, 18 July 2014. 

Thanks to UNH-Manchester for their support!

Thanks to Arthur Barlas for contributing to the prize fund!

The winner will receive a $2500 a year scholarship award from the University of New Hampshire. The award will be renewable for up to four years for the student who matriculates at the University of New Hampshire at either Durham or Manchester  campus.

Additionally, Relyea Chess is providing cash prizes as follows to the participants:

Time Control: 40/90, SD/30 + 30 second increment

Press Releases

US Girls Junior Champsionship coming to Manchester, NH in July 2014!
'Basics of Chess' Class with Vince Bradley & Eugene Tappen!
Susan Polgar's Blog
Alexandra Kosteniuk's Blog
Relyea Chess Twitter Feed (@relyeachess #USGirlsChampionship)
US Chess Federation Press Release
Nashua Telegraph
Boston Globe


In 1966, the United States Chess Federation started the Boys Closed Championship, which provides the winner a seat into the prestigious US Championship. This year, F. Alex Relyea, FIDE arbiter and Associate National Tournament Director based in Bedford, NH, decided that an equally prestigious event for girls should exist. “There are some amazing young girls playing. We need to have the same prestigious titles for them that we have for boys.” He worked with the United States Federation to create and host the inaugural event in New Hampshire. UNH Manchester will provide a $2,500 award renewable up to four years and Relyea Chess will provide a total prize fund of $6,200 with top prize of $2,000 and lowest prize of $200.


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Maggie Feng

Title: Woman Candidate Master
Rating: 2173
Residence: Ohio
Age: 14
Status: Accepted

I started to play chess when I was 8, and entered my first tournament three months later and won my section. In less than two years, I won my first big chess tournament, the 2010 National All-Girls Championship in 10 & Under Section with 5.5/6 points. My chess successes continued to grow as I gained 600 rating points in two years to become an expert. In the summer of 2012, I got silver in the 2012 Pan-American Championship in Girls U12 Section in Lima, Peru. I was pretty happy about that. My chess started to improve quickly this year and my rating went from 2100-2200 in six months. I become a National Master after 2014 Chicago Open. My next goal is to be over 2300 in USCF rating and play in the US Women's Championship.

I really like chess because it is challenging and fun. Chess requires tactics, strategy, planning, risk-taking, and bravery which makes it a perfect game to play. My favorite chess player is Magnus Carlsen because of his will to win, and he never gives up. Also, in chess, you can make new friends and meet all kinds of people. 

Chess Highlights:
Champion of 2010 National All-Girls in 10 & Under section 
Silver Medal of 2012 Pan-American Championship in Girls U12 section 
1st place (tie) of 2012 Cincinnati Open in Open section
1st place (tie) of 2014 Pittsburgh Open in Open section


Apurva Virkud

Title: Woman Candidate Master
Rating: 2104
Residence: Michigan
Age: 16
Status: Accepted



Jennifer Yu

Title: Woman FIDE  Master
Rating: 2172
Residence: Virginia
Age: 12
Status: Accepted


Akshita Gorti

Title: Woman FIDE  Master
Rating: 2132
Residence: Virginia
Age: 12
Status: Accepted


Becca Lampman

Title: Expert
Rating: 2091
Residence: Washington
Age: 17
Status: Accepted

Seventeen-year-old Becca Lampman first picked up chess at age 10 by watching friends play during recess at her elementary school. Being the only member of her family interested in the game, she played only casually for more than a year, entirely self-taught. Seeing so many of her peers at local tournaments had been taking lessons and had considerably more experience playing than she did, she began working with a coach at age 12 and quickly began to advance in her rating.

Becca has won the Washington State Girls Championship for the past three years, and finished 2nd at the Susan Polgar Girls Invitational in July 2013. Becca is passionate about chess, balancing her academic studies against her desire to constantly improve her game. With her final year of high school starting this fall, she is currently in the process of visiting colleges and preparing to graduate next spring.


Chess Highlights:
Washington State Girls Champion, 2011-2013
2nd place, Susan Polgar Invitational 


Claudia Munoz


Title: Woman Candidate Master
Rating: 2060
Residence: Texas
Age: 16
Status: Accepted

Claudia has represented the United States in three Pan American Youth Chess Championship in Argentina in 2008, Colombia in 2011 and Peru in 2012. She has also represented the United States in two World Youth Chess Championships in Greece in 2012 and United Arab Emirates in 2013.

Claudia is currently an Ambassador for chesskid.com (a subsidiary of chess.com). She is also the Managing Editor of her own high traffic chess website www.claudiamunoz.com. She will be a High School Junior this fall.

Chess Highlights:

2007 undefeated American gold medal winner North American Youth Chess Championship Aguascalientes, Mexico.

2008 undefeated champion of the Susan Polgar National Championship in Brownsville, Texas.

2013 undefeated  champion of the All-Girls National Championship U-16 in Chicago, Illinois.

Alexandra Wiener

Title: 1st Category
Rating: 2021
Residence: Connecticut
Age: 20
Status: Accepted

Alexandra is a rising junior at Brown University pursuing an undergraduate degree in Business Economics and Education Policy. At Brown she plays club soccer, is an active member of her sorority Kappa Alpha Theta, and serves as the President of Brown’s Chess Team, which in 2013 tied for First Place at the Inter-Ivy League Championships. Alexandra has been an avid chess player since the age of nine and more recently has taken measures to promote chess as a 21st century educational tool. She serves on the United States Chess Federation’s Chess in Education Committee and has spent the past four years both raising money for and volunteering her time to establish a scholarship program for inner-city elementary school students. More recently, she is working with her coach, Jorge Sammour-Hasbun to create the first women’s chess academy in Rhode Island and establish a Collegiate Chess League following the current U.S. Chess League model.

In 2012 she won the USCF’s Scholar Chess Player Award/Scholarship based on her chess ability, academic performance and community involvement with the game.


Chess Highlights:
2012 USCF Scholar Chess Player Award/Scholarship
2012 United States Girls Junior Open Champion (18 & under)
2010 United States All Girls National Chess Co-champion (16 & under)
Seven time Connecticut State Female Scholastic Champion (2005-06 & 2008-12)
Five time CT represenative to Susan Polgar National All-Girls Invitational (2005-06 & 2008-2010)

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Alice Dong

Title: Expert
Rating: 2046
Residence: New Jersey
Age: 16
Status: Accepted

Kimberly Ding

Title: Woman FIDE  Master
Rating: 2091
Residence: New Jersey
Age: 15
Status: Accepted

Kimberly Ding is a high school freshman who has been learning chess since second grade. She has played in many chess tournaments from local to international. In 2011 and 2012, she attended the World Youth Chess Championship in Brazil and Slovenia, respectively. In 2013, she placed first in the Girl Under 14 Section at the North American Youth Chess Championship.

Kimberly likes literature, history and math. She lives in New Jersey with her parents and brother.

Chess Highlights:
1st place, 2013 North American Youth Chess Championship (Girl Under 14 section)
2011 & 2012 World Youth Chess Championship


Carissa Yip

Title: Expert
Rating: 2157
Residence: Massachusetts
Age: 10
Status: Accepted

Carissa started playing chess at age 7 in November 2010.  She has qualified to play in the World Youth Chess Championship and have been selected as a member of the USCF All-America Team every year.  In 2013, she broke the record and became the youngest female expert in the United States.  She tied for 2nd place in the World Youth Chess Championship in the same year.  Currently she is the strongest female chess player registered in MA Chess Association.

Chess Highlights:
USCF All-America Team
Record holder, youngest female expert in the US


Ken Ballou


Ken Ballou started directing tournaments in 1978 in Rhode Island. Since 2005, he has been the chief tournament director of nearly 200 events. He is a USCF National Tournament Director and a FIDE arbiter. His national directing experience includes the US Amateur Team East and the National Elementary Championship. He is also active in USCF governance, representing Massachusetts as a Delegate and serving on the Election, Tournament Director Certification, Rules and FIDE Events committees. Locally, he has served on the board of the Massachusetts Chess Association and is currently on the board of directors of the MetroWest Chess Club.

Alex Relyea


Relyea Chess is a private organization run by F. Alex Relyea, FIDE arbiter and Associate National Tournament Director, with experience directing over 150 tournaments (450 sections).

Relyea Chess is dedicated to bringing high quality, specialty chess tournaments to New England. For example, Relyea Chess hosted a first-ever 26-person round robin blitz tournament in Manchester, NH, directed the prestigious New England Open three times (NH, CT and MA) and organized a unique FIDE, invitational, round robin in Bedford, NH. 

Matt Phelps

Matt Phelps has been a class player based in Massachusetts since the early 80s. He began directing tournaments in 2004, primarily at MetroWest Chess Club in Natick, MA. He has since officiated over 100 events with over 430 sections; including 12 FIDE rated tournaments. Matt is currently a USCF Senior Tournament Director and a FIDE National Arbiter.

In addition to his playing and directing experience, Matt managed the Boston Blitz of the United States Chess League from 2006 through 2010. The team made the playoffs each of those seasons, reaching the Finals twice. Matt is also on the board of directors for the MetroWest Chess Club, which has maintained an average of 80-100 player attendance at its monthly swiss tournaments.

Nita Patel

Nita Patel is a local tournament director with the United States Chess Federation. She has played in over 200 events and directed over 50 tournaments. Nita Patel is a systems and software engineering manager. In additional to supporting Relyea Chess, Nita is an active volunteer with IEEE (the Institute for Electrical & Electronics Engineers) and Toastmasters International.


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