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Class Champs in Rochester: 10 Close Contests! 🎩

We had a great turnout of 92 players for the 2023 Minnesota Class Championships in Rochester. This was enough to spread play out over 10 sections of players closely grouped by rating, a unique and fun feature of the Class Champs format. All sections were tightly contested, with only one producing a perfect 4.0 point result: Ilya Chuhunou winning Class G.



photos: Sue Murray


🏆️ In the Master/Expert section, Okey Iwu and Alex Richter tied at 3.0 points and will have a tiebreaker playoff to determine qualification for the 2024 Minnesota State Championship. Jackson Wahl also tied for first at 3.0 points but has already qualified via the Summer Grand Prix. John Blomer won Class A outright with 3.5 points, but has also previously qualified via the Grand Prix. In this case, the event produces no U2000 qualifier for the Closed Championship.


🎬️ The TD team of Sarah Wahl, Jackson Wahl, and Jenny Bourne ran another smooth tournament with on time rounds and all things in order. Dennis Mays and Rochester Chess contributed much support, including chess sets and clocks. The Mayo Civic Center was again a fantastic venue, providing spacious playing areas and plenty of seating and tables outside the rooms.


⚡️ Blitz


16 players didn’t get enough chess with four 90+30 games over two days, and stayed after the final round on Sunday to play in a 12-game blitz tournament, with Jackson Wahl the winner at 10.0 points. 🥇 Joshua Wang won U1300, and Antony Rigles and Isaac Gommels tied for first in U1100.


🎥 In the TV news!



🔢 Some Fun with Numbers


167 games

139 decisive results

28 draws


With so many sections, the chances of having an odd number of players increased, leading to an “odd player out” situation. This meant our largest number of “extra rated games” this year as the TDs matched up people between sections: 9. So, 176 games played! 💪


💵 $2,820 paid out in prizes


📈 Three triple-digit non-provisional rating increases:


125 Ilya Chuhunou

114 Wilson Wang

111 Samuel Herring


📈 Four “near-200” and up provisional rating gains:


252 Tobin Gangi

197 Torin Erickson

197 Origal Renchin

195 Ryan Zhou


⚖️ Players with 0 rating change:


Scott Carpenter

Aaron Jing


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