Jeffery Xiong of Coppell, Texas, is the highest ranked player in the world under the age of 16. He has shown tenacity well beyond his years. At age 15, he already has had an impressive list of results: the 2010 Under-10 North America Continental Champion, a silver medalist in the 2010 Under-10 World Youth Chess Championships, 2013 MVP of the United States Chess League for his perfect record in regular season for the Dallas Destiny, 2015 Chicago Open Championship, 6th place finish in the strongest U.S. Championship in history (2016), and was recently awarded the 2016 U.S. Outstanding Player Achievement Award by USCF. However, it is his creativity on the board and his maturity in defeat that has caught the eye of some of the most renowned chess grandmasters.
From a very young age, Xiong has seen his losses, though painful, as an opportunity to improve. While some of Xiong's older competitors have been known to display their frustration with difficult losses, he remains collected—analyzing where his play could have been stronger. This maturity has helped enlist legendary Grandmaster Garry Kasparov as a mentor in the Young Stars program, and it has led to numerous impressive victories and awards since.
Home-schooled now, Xiong already has been awarded a four-year scholarship to the University of Texas at Dallas. The school’s faith in him is well-founded, particularly since his undefeated play in this past spring’s UT Dallas vs. U.S.A. Junior All-Stars event helped his team, the Junior All-Stars, achieve victory over that same UT Dallas university program he may one day attend.