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. Photo: Tim Hanks.
Here is Li’s victory with the black pieces against GM Ghaemmaghami.
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 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, 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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
Upper Right: Arthur Guo. Photo: Tim Hanks.
Great performances extend beyond the open section. Here are the winners of the competitive under sections.
FM Alex Bian (5.5 points)
Dylan Quercia (5.5 points)
Jesus Alvarado (5.5 points)
Dennis Moore (5.5 points)
Fred Williams (5.5 points)
Dakim Vanterpool (5.5 points)
Isaac Balter (5.5 points)
Jonathan Liu (5.5 points)
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.
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 chess.com 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.
Photo: Tim Hanks.
For full standings and more information on the Las Vegas Chess Festival, visit the Official Website.