The Hjorth Open (previously the Melbourne Cup Weekender) has become a major event on the Australian, let alone Victorian calendar! This year attracted 86 players, far more than previous years & this can be attributed to the hard work done by those at the Melbourne Chess Club (largely tournament organiser Simon Dale) in organising & publicising the event & making every effort for it to be a fitting tribute to IM Greg Hjorth, who passed away unexpectedly in early 2011. Greg's family has also been a driving force behind the event providing sponsorship not only for this event, but also adding a Brilliancy prize to events held at Melbourne Chess Club throughout the year.
With such a large number of players at the club, the first round started a little late, however not before a short opening ceremony where Melbourne Chess Club President Paul Cavezza welcomed everyone to the tournament & shared some memories of Greg.
Round 1 saw most games going according to rating, although there were a few draws on the lower boards. Of the top boards, the board 4 clash between FM Chris Wallis & Rad Chmiel was probably the most interesting of them all, with Chris gaining an opening edge before inexplicably giving away an exchange (the post-mortem suggested that Chris had mentally 'played' Rg1 or Rf1 before Bf3, but then moved the bishop first by mistake), before putting his strong central pawns to work, with a second, intentional, exchange sacrifice securing the victory.