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Junior Gold in Groton, MA

Janurary 2013, by Garrett Donnelly

Arhum SaleemThree of Atlanta’s juniors – Arhum Saleem, Will Grady, and Garrett Donnelly - traveled all the way to the Groton School this past weekend to compete in a junior Gold tournament held there. The Groton School, located in Groton Masachusets, brought players from all over the country, Canada, and Egypt to show off their skills and vie for the top spots. In 10 draws, 260 juniors played a total of 613 matches in a mere 48 hours.

Saleem entered the tournament as the number one seed in the BU19 draw, hoping to take the tournament.

“I felt pretty good with the way I played up until the final,” said Saleem. “I felt fully prepared going into the tournament.”

Saleem battled his way through the tournament all the way to the finals where he encountered a tough competitor – Hussein Elrayes from Cairo. Elrayes took Saleem in a close three game match (6, 8, 10) to win the tournament.

Donnelly, also in the BU19’s, and Grady, in the BU17’s, each had their share of tough fights. Grady had a difficult first round, losing to Killian Bubrosky from Connecticut, but soon thereafter won his first consolation math in three games. Afterwards, Will faced more demanding challengers.

Will Grady“I was nervous,” said Grady. “I wish I could have gotten into a rhythm,” commented Will on his subsequent matches.

Donnelly lost his first match to Tripp Kaelin in three games (10, 10, 7). Despite the loss, he continued to fight through the consolation, where he lost in the semifinals to Matthew Lillie, and subsequently won the 3/4 playoff of the consolation.

The three boys look forward to the St. Louis gold tournament, where they hope to continue to hone their skills, and will also be joined by fellow Atlantan, Rajiv Reddy.