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  • Writer's pictureAdam Porth

Niall McKenzie Wins 2023 Idaho Open


Twenty eight players came to the Idaho State University, Student Union, Salmon River Suites, in Pocatello, Idaho on May 13 th , 2023, playing for a chance to to win the title of in the 2023 Idaho Open Chess Championship. The air conditioning system was on full blast, which made it uncomfortably cool for many players. In the last round, the penultimate match between Niall and the 2022 Idaho Open Champion, Jeremy Thomas, from Pocatello, Idaho, who went from an unrated player to Champion in last year’s tournament, took place. In a very close, 56 move, back and forth game, Niall finally triumphed. This win gave Niall, from Pocatello, a perfect 5-0 score, which earned him the Championship plaque and $200. In the 2022 Idaho Open Championship, Niall won Second Place in Class B. This was a five round Swiss System tournament, directed by veteran Tournament Director Jay Simonson, from Idaho Falls, Idaho. Raul Villacorta, of Rexburg, Idaho, who was also unrated at last year’s Idaho Open Championship, but who is now a Class C player, claimed Second Place and 100. Michael Presutti, the current Idaho Chess Association (ICA) Senior Champion, from Boise, Idaho, won Third Place and $75, which he donated tothe 2023 ICA Senior Chess Tournament.


The top player in each class, B, C, D, E, F, and Unrated, each earned a cash prize of $50. No prize was awarded for Class A. First Place Class B honors went to DeWayne Derryberry, of Pocatello. Gary Hollingsworth, also of Pocatello, won 1 st Place in class C. Tyler Yazzie, from New Plymouth, Idaho, claimed 1 st Place in class D. Tanner Hunter, of Rexburg, won 1st Place in Class E. Sophie Ma, from Idaho Falls, won the prize for the Top of Class F, and Colton Robinson of American Falls, Idaho, took top honors among the six unrated players who battled in this prestigious tournament.

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