The old proverb “Youth will be served” was in strong evidence at the 2019 Idaho Closed State Championship held at the Hampton Inn in Twin Falls ID over President's Day weekend. The three day event drew 34 players from nine cities throughout Idaho. Idaho chess history was made at the event as the tournament produced the youngest co-champions in Idaho chess history. 15 year old Jacob Nathan of Idaho Falls and 13 year old Kevin Xu of Boise both finished with 5.0/6 scores, with Nathan winning the first place award over Xu via tiebreaks. Both names will appear in the history books as co-champions for the year 2019. 18-time Idaho Chess Champion Larry Parsons of Boise took home the third place overall award with a 4.5/6 result.
Nathan was defeated by Parsons in the fourth round, but finished off Dewayne Derryberry (Pocatello) and James Wei (Boise) in the last two rounds to achieve the 5.0 score. Xu's path was more difficult as he lost to Nathan in round three, but then won his final three games against Caleb Kircher (Boise), Jeff Roland (Boise) and then defeated Parsons in round six in a very exciting game to draw
even with Nathan.
Tom Booth (Caldwell) set the bar for the 4.0/6 score group, finishing fourth overall and taking home the Top Class C award, with the highlight being a nice win over Caleb Kircher in round five. James Wei finished fifth and garnered Top Class B, achieving a nice draw against Parsons in round five. Of the fourteen awards given out, six were won by players under eighteen years of age. The top ten places featured four Juniors and three of the top five players were Juniors. This statement by the next generation of Idaho players bodes well for the future of chess in Idaho.
Many thanks to the Hampton Inn in Twin Falls for hosting this event, and appreciation goes out to assistant TD Adam Porth as well as the TD rules team of Jay Simonson and Jeff Roland.
Complete results below:
1st Overall – Jacob Nathan -5.0/6
2nd Overall – Kevin Xu – 5.0/6
3rd Overall – Larry Parsons – 4.5/6
1st A – Caleb Kircher – 3.5/6
1st B – James Wei – 4.0/6
1st C – Tom Booth – 4.0/6
1st D – Bryce Leifeste – 3.5/6
1st E Aleksandr Vereshchagin – 3.0/6
Top Senior – Michael Presutti – 4.0/6
Top Junior – Forrest Zeng – 3.0/6
2nd B – Jarod Buus – 4.0/6
2nd C – Desmond Porth – 3.5/6
2nd D – Adam Porth 3.5/6
2nd E – Darren Su – 3.0/6