Saturday, 16 November 2013

2013 Vikings Weekender - Day 1

"Suppose they held a chess tournament, and only the good players turned up"
The 15 players who did enter the top section of the 2013 Vikings Weekender could be forgiven for thinking this, as the number of players is around half of what it was last year. Given the tournament still attracted 3 IM's, 2 WIM's and 3 FM's, the players that were missing came from the 1700 to 2000 rating group. Whether it is a general malaise that is effecting Canberra chess at the moment I'm not sure, but the same group of players seem to be missing from other chess activities around town.
The net result is that while the tournament is small, it is now a lot tougher. Four players share the lead on 3/4, IM Gary Lane, IM Andrew Brown, FM Endre Ambrus, and Michael Kethro. FM Anton Smirnov is on 2.5, while IM Vladimir Smirnov, FM Brian Jones, WIM Emma Guo and WIM Nancy Lane are all in the group on 2 points.
On the other hand, the turnout for the Under 1600 indicates that there is greater enthusiasm for tournament chess among the younger set. The 33 player field is larger than last year, and contains a number of dangerous junior players. Nine year old Ryan Lane (son of Gary & Nancy Lane) scored the biggest upset by defeating the top seed in round 1. But while the junior players are causing havoc on the lower boards, wily veteran Sunny Yoon still leads the tournament on 4/4.
The final 3 rounds are being played tomorrow, at the Tuggeranong Vikings Ruby Union Club, Ricardo St Wanniassa. Round 5 starts at 10:30am, and apart from the chess, Australian Chess Enterprises is operating a bookstall.

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