Ghita Wins U1900 at Mid-American; Li Co-Champ in U1700


A six-way tie for first with 4.0/5 left out Illinois players at the 21st Mid-American Open!

George Li, David Peng and Tansel Turgut were all a half-point back, part of a seven-pack of 3.5 scorers. Li managed an impressive draw against the event's top-rated player and co-champion, Fidel Jimenez.

Peng went undefeated with three draws and two wins.

Gopal Menon, Jacob Furfine, Spencer Lehmann, Mark Robledo, Jr., Marissa Li and Aydin Turgut all posted solid 3.0 scores. Aydin and Jacob were bookends of sorts -- both facing off against the aforementioned Jimenez, Aydin in the first round, Jacob in the last round.

Furfine also had a tough second round match against co-champion Awonder Liang of Wisconsin who emerged from the event rated 2562. Liang also handed Dr. Turgut his lone loss of the event.

Furfine eclipsed 2300 for the first time thanks to the event.

314 competed in seven sections at the Continental Chess event completed March 26 in the St. Louis suburb of Clayton.

Other Illinois players competing in the Open included: Nicholas Bartochowski, Rishi Narayanan, Ricky Wang, Edward Zhang, Abhy Venkat, Caleb Denby, along with Derek Lyon, Marcus Stinson, Cesareo Rodriguez, and Belleville area high schooler Saltanat Muratova. Muratova is on the cusp of completing her "provisional" rating period with a remarkable 1983 P24.

In the Under 2100 Edgar Talayko and Eric Starkman posted 3.5's finishing in a four-way tie for fifth. Jimi Akintonde was a half-point back at 3.0. Adam Bareket, Anuj Dahiya, Peter Zheng and William Wang all posted 2.5's while Richard Zhang and Ishaar Ganesan allied 2.0. Also competing in the section were Aren Amrikian, Shreyas Reddy and Rabel Rizkallah.

Under 1900 competition saw Illinois-registered Vlad-Bogdan Ghita post the top score of 4.5/5, raising his rating to 1940.

Roger Li was the co-champion of the Under 1700 section with 4.5/5, raising his rating to 1705! Only a third-round draw kept him from a perfect score.

Spencer Vincent and Charles Whipple competed in the U1500, compiling 3.5's representing a seven-way tie for third place. Spencer was undefeated with two wins and three draws.

Benjamin Brestal raised his provisional rating to 1350 in the Under 1300 with a 4.0 tally -- tying for third place with Arthur Rodriguez and Missouri's Brad Baldridge.

Kaya Turgut and Brooklyn Li tied for sixth place with 3.5's. Jack Heller posted a 3.0 to tie for ninth place along with Donald Valencia, Nimrod Bareket, Advitya Batta and several others in the U1300.

Kindergartner Hudson Lutfiyya was Illinois' top finisher in the U1000 posting 3.0/5 to tie for 11th place out of 46 players. it was a family affair with brother Ren nabbing a win against Illinois' venerable Dennis Doyle and even Ren and Hudson's mother, Lynn, earning a victory over an 800 from Missouri!

Charles Hicks and Rajeeth Ganesan also represented Illinois in the section.