Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013 Australian Player of the Year

In a non-Olympiad Year, picking one Australian player as a standout is just that little bit more difficult. These days it is the junior players (Under 16) who carry the flag for Australia on overseas events, while older players have the usual worries about study/work/family to keep them tied to these shores. But even on the domestic scene honours seemed shared about, with a few young players (eg Anton Smirnov and Karl Zelesco) moving to the next level, but no one completely dominating the local scene.
But there was one player who had a number of significant performances in 2013, which placed him ahead of the pack. IM (then still FM) Bobby Cheng started the year with a win in the Australian Open, ahead of a strong field. He had solid performances in the Doeberl Cup and the Sydney International Open, before scoring 10/11 in the 2013 Victorian Championship. Later in the year he scored 6.5/9 in the World Under 16 Olympiad, and finished off the year with a 4th placing in the 2013 Australasian Masters. He was awarded his IM title in May, all the while juggling his schooling.
So for 2013, IM Bobby Cheng is the Chessexpress Australian Player of the Year.

Miezis,Normunds (2554) - Cheng,Bobby (2440) [A10]
2013 Australasian Masters GM Melbourne (8.5), 21.12.2013

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