Friday, 6 January 2012

Age and experience lead youth and enthusiasm

While this years Australian Championship seemed notable for the number of young players who made it in to the final field, it is the older players who occupy the top places after round 9. With two rounds to play GM Darryl Johansen leads by half a point from IM Stephen Solomon and IM Vladimir Smirnov. Johansen had a quick draw with IM Moulthan Ly while Smirnov dashed Junta Ikeda's hopes of an IM norm with a good win. Solomon ended GM Zong-Yuan Zhao's hopes of winning the tournament, leaving the top seed a point and a half off first place. IM George Xie is alone in fourth place after a slashing win over FM Michael Steadman.
The good results of the veterans has also carried over to the Reserves tournament. FM Doug Hamilton is a 3 time Australian Champion, but his rating has fallen below the level required (2150) for automatic entry to the Championship (Note: Players rated below 2150 were accepted in the championship but I do not know whether Hamilton applied to play in Championship). He is on 7.5/9 and a win in this tournament would guarantee a return to the top flight in 2 years time.

Xie,George - Steadman,Michael [A10]
Australian Championship Geelong, 06.01.2012

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