James Wei Wins 2022 Idaho Open
James Wei triumphed over 13 other players to win the title of Champion in the 2022 Idaho Open Chess Championship on 16 April 2022. He had a perfect 5-0 score which earned him the Championship plaque and $200. The 15 year old Wei was the highest rated player at the tournament, and his no-loss, no-draw performance at the 2022 Idaho Open shows that his rating is well deserved. There were no other overall prizes awarded for this 5 round Swiss System tournament, directed by veteran Tournament Director Jay Simonson.
The class prize winners each won $75 and the runner up in each class earned $25. James Wei, who won the championship honors, was the only class A player, so no prizes were awarded for Class A. First Place Class B honors went to Zachary Fritchen, of Idaho Falls, and 2nd place was claimed by Niall McKenzie of Pocatello. Bryce Leifeste, of Eagle, Idaho, Idaho’s reigning Scholastic Champion, won 1st Place in class C, with ISU professor Nobel Ang, of Pocatello, winning 2nd place. Darren Furman of Idaho Falls, claimed 1st Place in class D. He was the only class D player in the tournament. John Eisenmenger, of Idaho Falls, won 1st Place in Class E. Huntington Lysy, from Utah would have won 2nd place, Class E, but he withdrew from the tournament after game four. Raul Villacorta, of Rexburg took top honors for the unrated players, and Spencer Flamm, from St. Anthony won 2nd place among the 5 unrated players who battled in this prestigious tournament.