Updated: Sep 23
Jackson Wahl finished a stellar summer of chess by capturing 1st prize in the MSCA's Grand Prix Series. Jackson's reward for leading the state in Grand Prix points is a $400 prize check and qualification for the Stenberg Cup State Championship Playoffs which will take place March 22-24, 2024.
Jackson had to overcome Andrew Titus' posted point total at the Northern Open to claim the Championship. Titus returned to college in August and was not available to compete in the Northern Open. 3rd Place in the Grand Prix's Open Section went to one of Minnesota's most active chess masters - Dr. Okey Iwu.
In the U2000 section it was John Blomer from start to finish. John is a rising star on the scholastic chess scene and was racking up the points throughout the 5 events. 2nd place went to Mr. Endgame - Bill Murray.
In the U1700 Ibrahim Bukhari was consistently dominant and finished 115 points ahead of 2nd place winner Harrison Stage. Harrison made an excellent recovery in the Grand Prix standings after missing the opening event in St. Cloud in May.
In the U1400 it was Owen Pelletier taking 1st...and Long Chen 2nd. Both Owen & Long were able to accumulate enough Grand Prix points in 3 events to make it to the prize podium.
Finally in the U1100, Joe Gangi won a close battle with a number of solid chess players to capture 1st...and Aaron Booth was 2nd.
Overall the Grand Prix Series was a HUGE SUCCESS! There were 1,000+ games played, 314 competitors, 59 new players making their first chess tournament experience a Grand Prix one, 5 cities visited, and 8 amazing "chess tourists" who played in all 5 of the events. A special shout out to our chess tourist list which included Okey Iwu, John Blomer, Ibrahim Bukhari, Bill Murray, Scott Hogfoss, Mason Pederson, Tyler Esser and Ed Bourgeois.
A final congratulations to the MSCA Board who made the decision to invest $2,000 in the Grand Prix's Guaranteed Prize Fund. That was a great investment decision to help grow our Minnesota Chess Community!