Surprising Winner in Sydney

Surprising Winner in Sydney‎

GM dbojkov
18 | Other

 Sydney, the Capital city of New South Wales, was again hosting its 5th International Open from April 27th to May 1st.  This year was quite risky for the event. The previous organizer FM Brian Jones announced at the closing ceremony in 2010 that he was done doing the event. The reason was prosaic- he lost money from the event. Organizing chess events in Australia is an ungrateful job. Our game is not yet recognized as a sport on this continent, and the cream of attention (and sponsorship) is taken away by sports like rugby, cricket and soccer.

Still, there are some real chess people, willing to spend their time, efforts, and even funds to keep the chess life in Australia going. Those that I know need to be mentioned here: Charles Bishop (organizer of the Doeberl Cup), Shaun Press and Charles Zworestine (the arbiters of the events) and Shane Burgess, the new organizer. We should not forget the chess family Cathy and Ian Rogers, who provided live commentary throughout both events and do their best to popularize chess in Australia.

The open tournament was a tremendous triumph for the Indian player Akshat Khamparia. He started with 5/5 and managed to hold draws till the end of the event. Somewhat surprisingly, he took clear first, scoring 7/9. The same result last year was enough for a tie only, 1-3 places. However, there was a big tie, 2-8 places, with GM David Arutinian declared silver medalist, and GM Andrey Deviatkin from Russia bronze medalist. Three Australian players made it also to the tie, with FM Christopher Wallis having the best tiebreaks amongst them (fifth place). The other two were IM Steven Solomon (an original player with an extreme will to win) and Zhang Zong-Yuan, Australia’s top player at the moment.

There was also a Challengers Tournament which was won by Harry Press (best on tiebreak), Maros Zajac and Tony Davis, each of them scoring 7/9.

Sydney is the home city of the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, glorious beaches, and is a great place to both visit and play. I had an extra week after the event, and gave a lecture at the Sydney Academy of Chess (thank you for the invitation, Brett!) on the most interesting games of both open tournaments, as well as a couple of simultaneous exhibitions. One was at the Norths Chess Club, where I won 12 games, and lost one, to Jason Hu, rated 2190, and one more in Golden Cost, a beautiful place near Brisbane. There I won 12 games and drew 3. One of those draws was against the Australian under 12 champion. I want to thank the organizers Shane Burgess, and Amir Karibasic for making these events possible, as well as to all the participants in both events.

Australia is an extremely beautiful country, and I wish everyone the chance to see it, and experience the taste of Australian nature.

In conclusion, I would like to present you Akshat’s best achievement in the event:


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