Friday, 25 January 2013

Australia Day Open kicks off

Chess Weekend

The Doubleroo Australia Day Weekender was conceived just a few weeks ago in a phone conversation with CAQ president Mark Stokes. I wanted to bend Mark's ear about having a nine round, one round a week on Friday's tournament. What about the Australian day he asked? 

Sponsors

While Mark was in Sydney playing the Australian Open he secured the sponsorship of two generous gentlemen, George Lester (also a participant) and Sydney chess enthusiast Elliot Renzies, who donated $100 each towards the tournament. Hearing this, David Esmonde, former president of the Gold Coast chess association decided to throw in $100 as well. Thanks to them we will nearly break even :-)

Kickoff

Our tournament kicked off with twenty keen players taking advantage of the rainy day
One particularly nice surprise was the appearance of  several players who had not moved a pawn in anger for a long time like former leading junior, Jakob Edwards, Ross Jempson and Don Hamilton.


The highlight of the day was when a man in his late twenties, Matt Watson, told me that I had been his Chess teacher at St Kevin's College more than a decade ago.

Matt Watson
We also managed to attract the strongest Queensland chess-player, International master Moulthun Ly. He had a relatively short first round against Craig Stewart who bemoaned having lost in a similar method just recently.




Spectator

John Myers
When I was a teenager, about the same time as the Dinosaurs roamed the earth, Queensland had a very active chess scene. I and my friends used to travel up to play the circuit. John Myers was the one player we all feared. He was a legend thirty years ago and can still spot any combo instantly despite having hung up his pawns years ago. He graced us with his presence as a spectator today and we all appreciated his insights...although he did try to kidnap several players to go to the pub.

Breaking news!!! Jakob Edwards (1917) just beat IM Moulthun Ly (2440) throwing the tournament wide open! I will try to bring you the game later! 

Have a nice day :-)



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