Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Kayden Troff: Utah's Chess Prodigy

ABC Channel 4 Salt Lake City, Utah

Kayden Troff is a Utah chess prodigy! At age eleven he is the reigning Utah state champion for all ages for several time controls: 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).

He first demonstrated his amazing chess ability at the age of three, by which time he had learned to play by watching his father, Daniel Troff, teach and play against his older brothers. When Troff turned six, his father decided to have him tutored by Grandmaster Igor Ivanov. Ivanov was impressed with how well Kayden played!

On January 24, 2009, Troff won the Utah Speed Chess Championship at age ten, becoming the youngest player to win that event, and by a huge margin. In that event he went 2-0 against Jeff Phillips, who was at the time Utah's only chess master and also the Utah player with the highest quick chess rating. On March 14, 2009, Troff won the Utah G/60 Championship (where each player has one hour to complete the whole game), also becoming the youngest player ever to win that event, by far. At this event he defeated the #1 seed, 73-year-old Hans Morrow, the oldest player in the tournament.

Kayden's quick rating is the highest in Utah and, even more astonishingly, the highest of all US players under the age of 13 according to the rating list published by the USCF in June 2009. After the Utah G/60 championship win, the tournament director dubbed Kayden "Utah's Mozart of Chess." Kayden's rating achievement is made all the more impressive due to the limited opportunites he has to gain points, as Utah is short on high rated players.

As of August 22, 2009 Kayden is the highest USCF standard rated active tournament player in Utah.
Kayden's ambition is to become a Grandmaster, which will require a 2500 FIDE rating as well as three Grandmaster level performances in international tournaments.

Kayden lives in West Jordan, Utah with his parents, Kim and Daniel, and brothers Jeremy and Zachary, both of whom also play chess at a high level for their age group. The Troff family runs a popular "TNT" Chess Camp in the Salt Lake City area, along with their family friend Scott Treiman, who won the 2009 Utah State Junior High School championship tournament.

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