Ruifeng Li Wins the National Open

Jul 8, 2016, 6:30 PM |
Organizer Janelle Losoff, Ruifeng Li, and Daniel Fridman. Photo: Tim Hanks

While the prestigious National Open is usually dominated by experienced grandmasters, this year 14-year-old International Master Ruifeng Li took home the Edmondson Cup.

Li tied with Grandmaster Daniel Fridman for 1st place and won the championship trophy by tiebreaks. Along the way, Li defeated GM Ehsan Ghaemmaghami and drew against five-time U.S. Champion GM Gata Kamsky and GM Axel Bachmann (both of whom tied for 1st place at last year’s National Open).

Ruifeng Li vs. Five-time U.S. Champion Gata Kamsky. Photo: Tim Hanks
In addition to winning the entire tournament, Li won 1st place for Mixed Doubles team along with his six-year-old sister, Rachael, who tied for 7th in the under 1300 section.
When asked who was stronger at age six between him and his sister, Li answered, “Definitely, she is stronger than I was: I didn’t even learn to play chess until I was older.”
Rachel Li, Photo Tim Hanks
Li also won the Freddie Prize for the best game played by a player under 15 years old, showing that he isn’t just capable of winning, he’s capable of very skillful attacking games. Here is his attacking victory against International Master Keaton Kiewra.

Recently, Li has been improving very rapidly. Within the last few months, he has won the Philadelphia Open, passed a US Chess rating of 2600 and a FIDE rating of 2500 for the first time, and achieved his first GM Norm.

Li considers his best game ever to be his victory against GM Michael Roiz where he sacrifices not one, but two rooks and bravely brings his king out to the center of the board.


Li is currently competing in the US Junior Closed Championship, which began today. He is the 3rd seed and one of the youngest competitors.

The full article, including more exciting games and details about the winners, is featured at US Chess News: Ruifeng Li Wins the National Open