Monday, 16 December 2013

Australasian Masters - the start

The Australasian Masters is currently underway at the Box Hill Chess Club. This year marks the 25th running of the event & for the first time, there is the possibility of a Grandmaster Norm in the top division. The second division also gives players an opportunity for an International Master Norm. I am the chief arbiter for both events, as well as producing the daily bulletins for the players.

The fields for both events are as follows (with FIDE rating & country or Australian State):
GM Event
  1. GM Normunds Miezis 2554 Latvia
  2. GM Vasily Papin 2514 Russia
  3. IM Bobby Cheng 2440 Victoria
  4. IM Max Illingworth 2430 NSW
  5. GM Tu Hoang Thong 2414 Vietnam
  6. GM Darryl Johansen 2409 Victoria
  7. IM James Morris 2398 Victoria
  8. IM Stephen Solomon 2386 Queensland
  9. FM Zuhao Li 2349 New Zealand
  10. FM Anton Smirnov 2318 NSW
 IM Event
  1. IM Vladimir Smirnov 2379 Russia
  2. FM Christopher Wallis 2320 Victoria
  3. Wang Sheng Lee 2254 Singapore
  4. FM Dusan Stojic 2246 Victoria
  5. IM Andrew Brown 2245 ACT
  6. FM Robert Smith 2238 New Zealand
  7. IM Mirko Rujevic 2220 Victoria
  8. Lennart Ootes 2147 Netherlands
  9. FM Eddy Levi 2146 Victoria
  10. Karl Zelesco 2145 Victoria
The event has started off well, beginning with a somewhat novel method for drawing of lots.
Last year's winner FM Anton Smirnov (youngest entrant in the GM Norm event) & top seed GM Normunds Miezis from Latvia selecting their pairing numbers from a barrel

The various pairings for the day are displayed on a fantastic board thanks to Gary Wastell (you may have seen a variation of this at other events, such as the Australian Championships in Geelong in 2012)
So far the games have all been fairly action-packed, with very few draws & those games that have finished in draws have all been hard fought games.
Currently GM Normunds Miezis leads the GM event with 3/3, although GM Vasily Papin & IM Max Illingworth are only a point behind.
The leaders of the IM event are FM Christopher Willis, FM Dusan Stojic & Karl Zelesco. Karl's performance so far has been particularly good as he has beaten two IMs (Smirnov & Brown) in the first two rounds.
Both events have games being broadcast live, with the GM event on the Box Hill CC website & the IM event on the Noble Park CC website.

To finish off this update, I've added some photos from the tournament, as well as some interesting games ... in the meantime you can follow the tournament at the venue, Box Hill Chess Club, online via the various links in the post above, or follow discussion about the tournament on the ChessChat forum.

The Grandmaster v Grandmaster games in action
Papin v Johansen ... result draw
 Johansen v Miezis ... result 0-1
Tu v Papin ... result draw

Interesting games from the event so far
IM Event
Zelesco-Smirnov from round 1

Brown-Zelesco from round 2

Wallis-Lee from round 3

GM Event
Cheng-Illingworth from round 1

Johansen-Miezis from round 2

Cheng-Johansen from round 3

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