July 21, 2021
By Rick Pezzullo
A 19-year-old Dobbs Ferry resident is one of only 10 men who qualified to compete in one of the nations top chess tournaments, the U.S. Junior Championships, in St. Louis, which runs until July 26.
Nicolas Checa, a student at Yale University, is looking to outduel his opponents to win a piece of the more than $20,000 prize money, plus a $6,000 scholarship.
Checa, who has won several scholastic titles in New York and nationally, was named a Samford Fellow in 2020, which was extended into 2021. In 2015, he achieved the FIDE Master title in chess and the International Master title in 2016. In 2018, he earned his last Grandmaster norm, and his Grandmaster title was approved in 2019.
Grandmaster John Burke, 20, of Brick, NJ, is the defending U.S. Junior champion. Checa is considered among the top contenders in the field whose electric strategies and tactics put them among the brightest young minds in the game, according to the Saint Louis Chess Club, which is hosting the event.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, spectators are not allowed for the tournament but fans can watch all the action live on http://www.uschesschamps.com and on the Saint Louis Chess Clubs YouTube and Twitch.tv channels.
The Saint Louis Chess Club is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that is committed to making chess an important part of the 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.
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