Ruifeng Li Wins the National Open

National Open_-6 Organizer Janelle Losoff, Ruifeng Li, and Daniel Fridman. Photo: Tim Hanks.
While the prestigious National Open is usually dominated by experienced grandmasters, this year 14-year-old International Master Ruifeng Li took home the Edmondson Cup. Li tied with Grandmaster Daniel Fridman for 1st place and won the championship trophy by tiebreaks. Along the way, Li defeated GM Ehsan Ghaemmaghami and drew against five-time U.S. Champion GM Gata Kamsky and GM Axel Bachmann (both of whom tied for 1st place at last year's National Open).
Ruifeng Li vs. Five-time U.S. Champion Gata Kamsky Ruifeng Li vs. Five-time U.S. Champion Gata Kamsky. Photo: Tim Hanks. 
Here is Li's victory with the black pieces against GM Ghaemmaghami.
[pgn][Event "2016 NATIONAL OPEN"]
[Site "Las Vegas, Nevada"]
[Date "2016.06.25"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Ghaemmaghami, Ehsan"]
[Black "Li, Ruifeng"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteELO "2682"]
[WhiteTitle "GM"]
[BlackELO "2629"]
[BlackTitle "IM"]
[Source "MonRoi"]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.a3 Bb7 5.Nc3 d5 6.Bg5 Be7 7.Bxf6 Bxf6 8.cxd5 exd5 9.e3 O-O 10.Qb3 c5 11.dxc5 Nd7 12.cxb6 Nc5 13.Qc2 Qxb6 14.Rd1 Rac8 15.Nd4 Ne6 16.Nxe6 Qxe6 17.Qb3 Rb8 18.Be2 Ba6 19.Qa4 Rxb2 20.Qxa6 Bxc3 21.Kf1 Qxa6 22.Bxa6 d4 23.h4 dxe3 24.fxe3 Ra2 25.Rh3 Rxa3 26.e4 Rxa6 27.Rxc3 Rf6 28.Kg1 Re6 29.Rd4 h6 30.Rc7 a6 31.Ra7 Rb8 32.Kh2 Rb2 33.h5 Re5 34.Rd5 Rxe4 35.Rd8 Kh7 36.Rxf7 Rh4 37.Kg1 Rxh5 38.Ra8 a5 39.Rf2 Rb1 40.Rf1 Rh1 41.Kxh1 Rxf1 42.Kh2 Rf5 43.Ra6 h5 44.Kh3 g6 45.g3 Kh6 46.g4 hxg4 47.Kxg4 Rb5 48.Kf4 Kh5 49.Ra8 g5 50.Kf3 Rb3 51.Ke4 Ra3 52.Kf5 Rf3 53.Ke4 Rf4 54.Ke5 a4 0-1[/pgn]
In addition to winning the entire tournament, Li won 1st place for Mixed Doubles team along with his six-year-old sister, Rachael, who tied for 7th in the under 1300 section.
Ruifeng_Rachel_Dad_-1 Ruifeng Li and Rachel Li with their father, Photo Tim Hanks 
When asked who was stronger at age six between him and his sister, Li answered, “Definitely, she is stronger than I was: I didn’t even learn to play chess until I was older.”
Rachel Li_-2 Rachel Li, Photo Tim Hanks
Li also won the Freddie Prize for the best game played by a player under 15 years old, showing that he isn’t just capable of winning, he’s capable of very skillful attacking games. Here is his attacking victory against International Master Keaton Kiewra.
[pgn][Event "2016 NATIONAL OPEN"]
[Site "Las Vegas, Nevada"]
[Date "2016.06.25"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Li, Ruifeng"]
[Black "Kiewra, Keaton"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B85"]
[WhiteElo "2629"]
[BlackElo "2526"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
[Source "MonRoi"]1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 a6 3. Nf3 e6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nc6 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Be2 d6 8. f4
Bd7 9. O-O Be7 10. Qe1 Nxd4 11. Bxd4 Bc6 12. Qg3 O-O 13. Bd3 Rc8 14. Kh1 b5 15.
a3 g6 16. f5 Nh5 17. Qg4 Bf6 18. Be3 Qe7 19. Rae1 Kh8 20. Bd2 Rg8 21. Nd5 {
"This excellent move opens up the position." -GM Varuzhan Akobian} Bxd5 22.
exd5 e5 23. Rf3 Rc5 24. Qh3 Qd8 25. Ref1 Bg5 26. fxg6 fxg6 27. Rf7 $1 {
Ignoring Black's threat to create a stronger one.} Ng7 (27... Bxd2 $4 28. Qxh5
$3) 28. Rd7 (28. Bxg6 {is even stronger.}) 28... Bxd2 29. Rxd8 Rxd8 30. Bxg6 h6
31. Qf3 Rcc8 32. Bd3 {and the threat of adding the queen to the b1-h7 diagonal
with Qe4 is overwhelming. Black resigned.} 1-0[/pgn]
Recently, Li has been improving very rapidly. Within the last few months, he has won the Philadelphia Open, passed a US Chess rating of 2600 and a FIDE rating of 2500 for the first time, and achieved his first GM Norm. Li considers his best game ever to be his victory against GM Michael Roiz where he sacrifices not one, but two rooks and bravely brings his king out to the center of the board.
[pgn][Event "2015 Washington open"]
[Site "Rockville"]
[Date "2015.08.09"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Li, Ruifeng"]
[Black "Roiz, Michael"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B13"]
[WhiteElo "2408"]
[BlackElo "2595"]
[PlyCount "47"]
[EventDate "2015.08.08"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[Source "Chessbase"]
[SourceDate "2015.08.20"]1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Nf3 Bg4 7. Bg5 Ne4 8.
cxd5 Nxc3 9. bxc3 Qxd5 10. Qb3 e6 11. Bc4 Qa5 12. Qxb7 Qxc3+ 13. Bd2 Qxa1+ 14.
Ke2 Nxd4+ 15. Kd3 Bxf3 16. gxf3 Qxh1 17. Qxa8+ Ke7 18. Qxa7+ Ke8 19. Qb8+ Ke7
20. Qc7+ Ke8 21. Qb8+ Kd7 22. Qb7+ Ke8 23. Kxd4 Qa1+ 24. Ke4 1-0[/pgn]
Li will soon be competing in the US Junior Closed Championships, which begin on July 7th. He will be the 3rd seed and one of the youngest competitors.
GM Daniel Fridman GM Daniel Fridman. Photo: Tim Hanks. 
Co-National Open Champion Daniel Fridman won both of his last two games against grandmasters to tie with Li with 5 points. Here is his last round key victory against GM Vasif Durarbayli.
[pgn][Event "2016 NATIONAL OPEN"]
[Site "Las Vegas, Nevada"]
[Date "2016.06.26"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Durarbayli, Vasif"]
[Black "Fridman, Daniel"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteELO "2686"]
[WhiteTitle "GM"]
[BlackELO "2657"]
[BlackTitle "GM"]
[Source "MonRoi"]
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.Be2 cxd4 7.cxd4 Nge7 8.Na3 Nf5 9.Nc2 Bb4 10.Kf1 Be7 11.Bd3 Bd7 12.g4 Nh4 13.Nxh4 Bxh4 14.Be3 Be7 15.b4 a5 16.bxa5 Nxa5 17.Kg2 Nc4 18.Bf4 Qd8 19.Qf3 Bc6 20.h4 Ra4 21.Rab1 Rxa2 22.Nb4 Bxb4 23.Rxb4 Qa5 24.Rhb1 O-O 25.g5 Qa7 26.Rd1 Ba4 27.Rc1 Ra3 28.Rxa4 Qxa4 29.Rb1 Qa6 30.Re1 Qb6 31.Bc1 Rb3 32.Rd1 Nb2 33.Bxb2 Rxb2 34.h5 Qd8 35.Qg4 Kh8 36.Re1 h6 0-1[/pgn]
Another memorable feat was achieved in the open section---U.S. Chess gained a new National Master. Ten-year-old Arthur Guo achieved his highest rating ever, 2216, after turning in a nearly 2400 performance. Along the way, he defeated Fide Master Matthew Beelby and drew against both Grandmaster James Tarjan and International Master John Bryant.
Photo: Tim Hanks Upper Right: Arthur Guo. Photo: Tim Hanks.


Under Sections

Great performances extend beyond the open section. Here are the winners of the competitive under sections.

Under 2300

FM Alex Bian (5.5 points)

Under 2100

Dylan Quercia (5.5 points)

Under 1900

Jesus Alvarado (5.5 points)

Dennis Moore (5.5 points)

Fred Williams (5.5 points)

Under 1700

Dakim Vanterpool (5.5 points)

Isaac Balter (5.5 points)

Under 1500

Jonathan Liu (5.5 points)

Under 1300

Edwin Llamo (5.5 points)


Paulexander Elauria (6 points)

Here is Dylan Quercia's exciting last round victory, which clinched clear first in the under 2100 section.
[pgn][Event "National Open 2016"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2016.06.26"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Quercia, Dylan"]
[Black "Phillips , Kevin"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B90"]
[WhiteElo "2065"]
[BlackElo "2093"]
[PlyCount "89"]1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 e5 7. Nde2 Be6 8. g4
h6 9. Bg2 Nbd7 10. Be3 Nb6 11. b3 Rc8 12. O-O Be7 13. a4 Qc7 14. a5 Nbd7 15.
Nd5 Bxd5 16. exd5 O-O 17. c4 Rfe8 18. Ng3 Bf8 19. Nf5 Kh7 20. Qd2 Ng8 21. Be4
g6 22. Ng3 Ngf6 23. Bc2 e4 24. f3 exf3 25. Rxf3 Bg7 26. Raf1 Qd8 27. Nh5 Nxh5
28. gxh5 Ne5 29. Rxf7 Nxf7 30. hxg6+ Kh8 31. gxf7 Rxe3 32. Qxe3 Qg5+ 33. Qxg5
hxg5 34. Re1 Bd4+ 35. Kg2 Rf8 36. Re8 Kg7 37. Bg6 Bc3 38. Kf3 Bxa5 39. Kg4 Bd8
40. Kf5 b5 41. cxb5 axb5 42. Ke6 g4 43. hxg4 Bg5 44. Kxd6 Bc1 45. Kc6 1-0[/pgn]

Game 10 Championship

In addition to the National Open, the Las Vegas Chess Festival has numerous unique events, including the U.S. Game 10 Championship. The U.S. Game 10 Championship was won by Grandmaster Tigran Petrosian, who recently won the Grandmaster Blitz Battle Championship Qualifier, earning the right to play an online blitz match against Magnus Carlsen. Although he lost the match to Carlsen, he dominated the field at the Game 10 Championship, going undefeated with 8 points out of 9---a full point ahead of all the other competitors. Here is Petrosian's last round victory in the main tournament against FM Pedram Atoufi.
[pgn][Event "2016 NATIONAL OPEN"]
[Site "Las Vegas, Nevada"]
[Date "2016.06.26"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Atoufi, Pedram"]
[Black "Petrosian, Tigran"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteELO "2392"]
[WhiteTitle "FM"]
[BlackELO "2714"]
[BlackTitle "GM"]
[Source "MonRoi"]
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.f3 Qb6 4.a4 e5 5.a5 Qxd4 6.Qxd4 exd4 7.exd5 Nf6 8.dxc6 Nxc6 9.Bb5 a6 10.Bxc6 bxc6 11.Ne2 c5 12.Kf2 Bf5 13.Na3 O-O-O 14.Nf4 Bd6 15.Nd3 Bxd3 16.cxd3 Nd5 17.Nc4 Bc7 18.Bd2 Rhe8 19.g3 Re6 20.Rae1 Rxe1 21.Rxe1 Kd7 22.Ra1 Rb8 23.Ra3 Kc6 24.Ke2 f6 25.f4 Ne7 26.Kd1 Nf5 27.Ra1 h5 28.Kc2 Re8 29.Re1 Rxe1 30.Bxe1 g5 31.fxg5 fxg5 32.Kd1 g4 33.Ke2 Kb5 34.b3 Ne7 35.Na3 Kc6 36.b4 cxb4 37.Bxb4 Nd5 38.Be1 Nc3 39.Bxc3 dxc3 40.Nc4 Kc5 41.Kd1 Kd4 42.Ke2 c2 43.Kd2 c1Q 44.Kxc1 Kxd3 45.Nb6 h4 46.Nd5 Bxg3 47.Nf6 Bxh2 48.Nxg4 Bg3 0-1[/pgn]
Photo courtesy of Tim Hanks. Photo: Tim Hanks.
For full standings and more information on the Las Vegas Chess Festival, visit the Official Website.

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