With the move of Box Hill Chess Club to new premises, the annual Australasian Masters has also moved venue, with Melbourne Chess Club playing host for 2015, with the event running from December 12-20.
Once again organiser Leonid Sandler has managed to get two round robin norm events to occur - a GM norm event, featuring some of Australia's top talent, along with Grandmasters Neiksans of Latvia, Papin from Russia & local GM Johansen. The IM norm event has a much wider range of ages, with local IMs Rujevic & Bjelobrk being joined by Welsh IM Richard Jones in prevent those without the IM title from gaining a norm.
Once again I am an arbiter for the event, as well as doing daily bulletins, all of which can be found on the Australasian Masters website.
The first round saw a number of upsets & exciting chess, with the GMs scoring a total of 0.5/3 for the day! Most spectacular of the games was IM James Morris' sacrificial effort against Russian GM Vasily Papin, which you can see below.
I'll attempt to update the blog (yes, its still alive) throughout the tournament, but at present I'm not sure how regularly I'll be able to do it.
Also, I gave my pre-tournament tips in Bulletin 1 - Nieksans in the GM event & Jones or Bjelobrk in the IM event - safe picks I know, but at least for the IM event I think they will be on the mark.