Updated: Jun 19
Linden Lee scored 15 points in the 18 rounds of the State Blitz Championship to distance himself from the 74-player field by 1.5 points. This writer was not entirely surprised at Linden's championship as he had projected Linden to be the #1 challenger for the title held for the last couple years by Minnesota's Blitz King...Mr. Jackson Wahl.
This writer also had the opportunity/misfortune to match-up with Linden in the critical Round 8 (15 & 16 on the crosstable). In the pre-game chatter Linden discussed a prior round where "he couldn't quite calculate all the variations in the limited amount of time". This writer confidently countered that if Linden could not calculate the variations in the limited time, then it was extremely likely no one could. Calculations are Linden's specialty. Linden adds the 2023 State Blitz Title to his growing list of chess accomplishments.
Great play was also turned in by Andrew Titus and Alec Aimdilokwong who tied for 2nd prize with 13.5 points. Another phenomenal showing was Harry Breheim (USCF blitz rating of 1545) who scored 13 points to finish tied for 4th overall and also took home the U1800 monetary prize. Harry also gained 160 blitz rating points in the process. Finally, newcomer Kai Huang took 1st in the Unrated group with 9.5 points! Just like that Kai has a provisional blitz rating of 1462.
With the record-setting 74 player attendance the prize fund was increased 135% (more than doubled) from what was published! The Plymouth Community Center proved to be a spacious & beautiful site for this State Championship contest. Many thanks to Sarah Emmons, Jackson Wahl, and Jenny Bourne for their expert direction of this chess event.