Easter in the East – like to join?

1/31/2008 – We have just celebrated Christmas and the New Year’s. With Lent just around the corner, the Easter weekend (March 23rd) is surely not too far away. How will you be celebrating Easter this year? What about going east this Easter to compete in chess competitions in Australia and Thailand? Read on to find out more on what’s in store in the East, this Easter! Details by Edwin Lam.

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Easter in the East

By Edwin Lam Choong Wai

G’day, mate! First stop, Canberra!

The O2C 46th Doeberl Cup will be held in Canberra from the 20th to the 24th of March 2008. The Cup has a long history dating back to the triumph of John Purdy in its inaugural edition in 1963. To be held at the Hellenic Club in the Australian capital, Canberra, this edition of the Doeberl Cup will not see the return of defending champion, GM Ian Rogers, who retired from competitive chess in July last year. With Rogers out of the picture, this year’s event will definitely witness a new champion.


GM Ian Rogers, the defending champion of the Doeberl Cup

So far, top GMs like Vadim Malakhatko, Vladimir Georgiev, S.S. Ganguly, Gawain Jones, Abhijit Kunte and Daryl Johansen have confirmed their participation in the Premier event of the Doeberl Cup. But, will the foreign raiders succeed here in Canberra? Well, historically, only Larry Christiansen (once only), Ketevan Arakhamia (once only) and Anthony Miles (once only) have succeeded in winning the Doeberl Cup in the past 45 editions. On the other hand, top local seed, GM Darryl Johansen has won the event four times in the past. Can he nail it for a fifth time? Let’s see what happens…

Tournament details

The Doeberl Cup is made up of the Premier, Major, Minor and Senior Events. The Premier event is a 9-round FIDE rated event, while the Major, Minor and Senior events are 7-round tournaments. Entries to the Premier event are limited to 80 participants only.

  • When? 20th to the 24th of March 2008

  • Time control: 90 mins + 30 secs

  • Prize money: This year will see a larger prize list in all divisions of the Doeberl Cup with cash prizes for all events totaling of 16,800 Australian Dollars. Ten cash prizes are given away in the Premier event, with the top dog earning 4,000 Australian dollars.

  • How to register? Go and do it online at http://www.doeberlcup.com.au/register.html. Tournament entry is free for GMs, IMs, WGMs, WIMs and players with FIDE ratings above 2500. Full details of the Doeberl Cup is available in the official website www.doeberlcup.com.au


Next port of call: Ahoy, Sydney!

Next up after the Doeberl Cup, is the 2008 Sydney International Open (SIO) Chess Tournament. Into its second edition, the SIO will again be hosted at the Parramatta Town Hall in Sydney. To be held from the 25th to the 29th of March 2008, this is a 9-round FIDE rated tournament. There is the Open and Challenger categories and players under 2000 FIDE rating are free to enter either the Open or Challenger categories


Destination…Parramatta

The inaugural edition of the tournament last year witnessed the co-winning effort of both GM Dejan Antic and GM Geory Timoschenko. Antic has confirmed his participation this time around to defend his title, but there is still no sight of Timoschenko in the entrant’s list as of 20th January 2008.

Top foreign GMs, such as Malakhatko, Vladimir Georgiev, SS Ganguly, Gawain Jones and Abhijit Kunte have confirmed their participation in the SIO – coming straight after the Doeberl Cup. And, this list may yet still change – with more top players confirming their entry to the competition in the next month, or so.

These guys will compete against Australia’s top players such as Zhao Zong-Yuan, Daryl Johansen, Stephen Solomon and Gary Lane for the top prize in this tournament. Just like in 2007, this year’s edition will surely be a fighting affair. And, in a further effort to promote fighting chess, this year’s edition will feature the additional rule of not allowing draws under 30 moves without the consent of the arbiter. Expect a bloodshed, guys!


2007’s 1st Sydney International Open in progress

Tournament details

  • When? 25th to the 29th of March 2008

  • Time control: 90 mins + 30 secs

  • Prize money: The total prize money for both the Open and Challenger categories come up to 16,500 Australian Dollars. The Open category’s Champion will get to take home the Leon Pratt prize totaling 5,000 Australian Dollars. Besides the twelve cash prizes that are up for grabs in the Open category, there are three more special cash prizes for the Best Female, Best Junior U18 and Best Junior U12.

  • How to register? Tournament entry is free for GMs, IMs, WGMs, WIMs and players with FIDE Ratings above 2500. Full details of both the Open and Challenger categories are contained in the attached SIO Open and Challenge entry forms below. Should you still require more information to the tournament, you can contact the organizer, FM Brian Jones at info@chessaustralia.com.au.


Blue Mountains – about 1 hour out of Sydney’s Central Business District

 
The Three Sisters


The Fish Market in Sydney…another “must-visit” attraction

 
Manly Beach, Sydney


Final destination: Sawatdii-khrap, Bangkok

The 8th Bangkok Chess Club Open will be held from the 1st to the 6th of April 2008 at the Century Park Hotel, Bangkok (www.centuryparkhotel.com). So far, over 80 participants from 23 different countries have registered for both the Bangkok Chess Club Open and Challenger categories. The list of players in the Open category includes 8 Grandmasters with GM Zaw Win Lay from Myanmar as the top seed.


Bangkok’s skyline on a “winter” morning


Sunset in Bangkok

Tournament details

The Open category is for all players, while the Challenger category is meant for players who are rated below 2100 Elo or unrated. The Open category is a nine-round FIDE rated competition, while the Challenger category will only see seven rounds of action. Players in both categories will compete under the Swiss System.

  • When? 1st to the 6th of April 2008

  • Time control: 90 mins + 30 secs

  • Prize money: The top prize in the Open category is approximately USD 1,500. Besides the top prize, prizes are also given to the other top 6 ranked finishers. There are also 3 other best Thai player prizes as well as certificates for the Best Lady and Best Junior.

  • How to register? Entrance fee to the Bangkok Chess Club Open category is THB 2,800, while participants to the Challenger category only need to pay a fee of THB 800. Early bird discounts are applicable for registrations before the 10th of March 2008. GMs, WGMs, IMs and WIMs are given free entry to the tournament. Online registration for the tournament at the following web link: http://www.bangkokchess.com/register8.php. Should you still require additional information, please contact Bangkok Chess Club at bangkokchess@gmail.com.


Evening impression of Bangkok

 
Thai food is more than just about “tom yam”…

 
Or, green and red curries…

 
There are so many more varieties of food in Bangkok… check out the Nathong Restaurant

Still not sure what to do this Easter? Let’s go East this Easter!


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