George Li had quite a day Sunday.

The IMSA-junior defeated two Masters and two Experts posting a perfect 4.0/4 score in the top of seven sections at the 2016 Illinois Class Championships held November 20.

For his efforts in the 21-player Masters / Experts section, he received a $500 award. The FIDE Master's USCF rating surpassed 2400 for the first time.

And he managed to secure a second place plaque in the Open section of the prestigious 10-event 2016 Illinois Chess Tour.

(By virtue of his appearance at the Class, Pete Karagianas earned the top Tour prize. If Karagianis had not driven up from Bloomington-Normal and nabbed 2.5 points from a win, a bye and a bonus participation point, Li would have won the Tour by a point) A full tour report will be posted soon.

Also in the Open, Whitney Young's Nikhil Kalghatgi claimed clear second place with three wins and a draw against a Master.  Two of the wins were also against Masters!

Ken Wallach claimed third with 3.0/4, but that was not the end of the family's success on the day.

In Class A, Dr. Mikhail Korenman and Hector Hernandez were co-champions with 3.5/4 tallies, Korenman drawing in the second round, Hernandez drawing in the first round against the 2016 Illinois Senior Co-champion, James Condron.

Adam Wallach was the clear winner in Class A with 3.5/4, ahead of a four-pack of 3.0's: Henry Curcio, Adam Chambers, Vytautas Vitkauskas and IMSA's Cassie Parent.

A three-way tie at 3.5/4 claiimed all the prize money in Class C with IMSA's Jonathan Liu, Chetan Reddy and William Whited splitting $250.

Stefan Mueller won Class D with 3.5/4, ahead of IMSA Coach Don Porzio and Sarah Grandy, both with 3.0's. Mueller defeated Porzio in the final round to secure top Class D honors.

For the first time, the tournament split U1200 and U800 competition, and these proved to be the most popular sections with 35 and 36 entrants respectively. (Class B and Class C both had 28 players).

In the U1200, Amit Marathe posted the lone perfect 4.0 score to claim first with Sreyansh Mamidi taking second with 3.5.

Layla Rodriguez had the best tiebreak in a four-way 3.0 score group to claim third place honors.

Also with 3.0's, Srihas Rao earned top score for U1000, and Mursaleen Ahmad won second place, U1000.

Sadly, Ankush Moolky left empty-handed with the same 3.0/4 score -- but he did get to shake Section Chief TD Donna Wallach's hand!

Jagadish Krishnan had the top score for previously unrated players in the section with 2.0/4.

Edward Moore won the top prize in the U800 with 4.0/4 in his first rated event. Samraat Jagdish and Rohit Kartha took second and third places with 3.5 (drawing head to head in the third round). Jagdish had the slightly higher tiebreak to claim second place hardware.

Yash Telang was the top unrated with 3.0. Among Under 600 competitiors in the section, Justine Weksel and Kai Fan both had 2.5's with Weksel posting the higher tiebreak.

Also posting 3.0's were Lohit Bhatnagar, Rahul Rao, Joel Setya and Spencer Donaldson.

U600's in that section posting 2.5's included Benas Rauduve and Henry Jonas.

Keep it up, up-and-comers!

Complete postings of the 2016 Class Championships are found elsewhere on this site:

Complete Illinois Tour results are found at:

The ICA thanks Chief Tournament Director Bill Buklis for his efforts organizing the event.  Donna Wallach, Hiro Higuchi and Erik Czerwin assisted as floor directors along with co-organizer Bill Feldman who served as Chief Floor TD.

The event was once again hosted at the Hilton Lisle/Naperville. Feedback on the format, the prize fund / trophy array, the site, the carpeting, the skittles areas, the notation booklets for the U1200 and U800, the staffing, adherence to the schedule -- or any other element of the tournament -- is welcomed by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The 2016 Class attracted 189 entrants representing a 23-player (14%) enhancement over 2015.

Financial reporting is pending but it is suspected that the ICA made some money from the event in support of programs and operations.