Illingworth wins Australian Chess Championship

by ChessBase
1/16/2014 – It is is the most prestigious event in Australian Chess, and was held this year Springvale, an outer suburbs of Melbourne. IM Max Illingworth, rated 2434, took the title with a score of 8/11. He did it by winning his final round game against wizz kid FM Anton Smirnov, at 2338 the strongest 12-year-old in the world. We have a big illustrated report from "down under", with great pictures and videos.

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Springvale, Victoria January 2-11

The Australian Chess Championship this year was held from January 2nd – 11th at the Springvale Town Hall in the outer suburbs of Melbourne. But unlike the Open, the Championships were only for Australians, with the exception of four foreigners: GM Vasily Papin (Russia), GM Hoang Thong Tu (Vietnam), WGM Irene Sukandar (Indonesia) and FM Zuhao Luke Li (New Zealand). The time control was 40 moves in 90 minutes + 30 Minutes + 30secs/move from move one.

The Springvale Town Hall, the venue for this year’s Championships

The playing hall during before the start of round one...

... and during one of the later rounds (fifth day blitz)

But wasn’t all about the players in the Championships as there was two side events for those players who couldn’t play in Championships due to the rating requirement, and then there was the Challengers event for those who couldn’t battle it out for the eleven rounds and could only play nine.

Max Illingworth took the title with a score of 8/11, after defeating...

... 12-year-old FM Anton Smirnov in the final round

Here's some video of Anton playing GM Vasily Papin in the blitz tournament on day five

Second place was shared between GM Tu Hoang Thong, IM Moulthun Ly and Karl Zelesco, all on 7.5/11, after they defeated their final round opponents (IM Stephen Solomon, IM Igor Bjelobrk and GM Darryl Johansen respectively). A further five players tied for fifth place on 7/11.

Australian Championship top final standings

Pos Title Name Rtg Pts
1 IM Max Illingworth 2434 8.0
2 IM Moulthun Ly 2416 7.5
3 GM Tu Hoang Thong 2428 7.5
4 -- Karl Zelesco 2242 7.5
5 IM Bobby Cheng 2433 7.0
6 GM Vasily Papin 2510 7.0
7 IM Igor Goldenberg 2373 7.0
8 FM Anton Smirnov 2338 7.0
9 -- Eugene Schon 2195 7.0
10 IM Igor Bjelobrk 2339 6.5
11 IM Stephen Solomon 2371 6.5
12 GM Darryl Johansen 2406 6.5
13 -- Laurence Matheson 2161 6.0
14 IM James Morris 2405 6.0
15 FM Zuhao (Luke) Li 2336 6.0
16 WGM Irene Sukandar 2369 6.0
17 FM Christopher Wallis 2346 6.0
18 FM Domagoj Dragicevic 2199 6.0
19 IM Aleksandar Wohl 2371 6.0
20 IM Andrew Brown 2259 6.0
21 FM William Jordan 2270 6.0
22 IM Gary Lane 2375 5.5
23 FM Gene Nakauchi 2210 5.5
24 FM Greg Canfell 2343 5.0
25 -- Fedja Zulfic 2152 5.0
26 -- Zachary Loh 2032 5.0
27 -- Yita Choong 2203 5.0
28 -- David Castor 2125 5.0
29 -- Gareth Charles 2150 5.0

The Mayor of the City of Greater Dandenong, Jim Memeti,
was at the closing ceremony to award prizes to the winners

Max Illingworth – and no, it's not what you think: he is wearing ear plugs against noise

FM Anton Smirnov is the world's highest rated 12-year-old

Top seed GM Vasily Papin gave other players a chance for a GM norm

Vasily Papin playing Dusan Stojic in round one (1-0 in 25 moves)

Australia’s second GM, Darryl Johansen

One of Australia’s IM originally coming from England: Gary Lane,
who also has a few books published to his name

WGM Irene Sukandar who is well known to Australian shores
and again lost rating points to our players from Down Under

Leiteisha Simmonds, who made the journey all the way down from Queensland

An uneven pair – you never see this in other forms of sport

With the multiple sections there are a wide range of participants

Possibly the youngest participant...

... or is it him?

Next year will be the Open so there can be many foreigners to participate in the event. Hope to see you all there.

Information provided by Jamie Kenmure, pictures courtesy of Mike Loh, Scott & Anoma Crowley


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