Sunday, 15 April 2012

2012 Sydney International - Day 5

GM Levente Vajda defeated IM Stephen Solomon to win the 2012 Sydney International Open. Vajda was tied with GM Attila Czeb going into the final round, but after Solomon staked everything on an unsuccessful attack, Czebe needed a win to catch up. However is was not able to get past GM Deep Sengupta, and could only draw. On board 3 FM Bobby Cheng also proved a tough nut to crack, and GM Gergely Szabo took a draw, although the position may still have been better for him. These results allowed Chinese IM Chongsheng Zeng to take a share of second after defeating defending champion IM Akshat Khamparia. The win was doubly fortuitous as he needed the full point to score a GM norm, although he seemed unaware of this, as he expressed surprise when I congratulated him after the game. The other players looking for norms were not so lucky, with FM Gene Nakauchi losing to GM Adam Horvath, and Dennis Ovcina losing to FM Max Illingworth. In the Challengers event, Donato Mallari defeated long time leader David Lovejoy in the final round to leave them both tied for first place. This brings the two weeks of the Doeberl/SIO tournaments to an end, I am sure a number of players are glad that it is over. Back to back tournaments played at 2 rounds a day is a tough ask, although I was pleased to see a number of players fighting until the very end. Overall is was a successful trip (in terms of prizes) for our visitors from Hungary and Romania, although the sizeable Indian contingent also took home plenty of rewards. Full results from the Sydney International Open and Challengers can be found at the tournament website.

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