Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Oceania Open Champion - Chris Wallis

Had a quick trip down to Ballarat yesterday and today, mainly to attend the Oceania Chess Confederation AGM, but also to have a look at the Ballarat Begonia Open. I must say the organisers found an excellent venue this year, with the playing hall at Clarendon College spacious and well lit. Of course there were some players who lamented the move from the previous venue (School of Mines), but I managed to walk to the new venue in around 30 minutes, so it wasn't that far from the centre of town.
I saw of the final round, in between conversations of a political nature, but did see some familiar faces. Going into the final round there were 5 players on 5/6, but it was only Chris Wallis and overseas visitor Kanan Izzat who managed to reach 6 points. The tournament title and trophy were shared between the two, but Chris Wallis had the added bonus of winning the concurrent Oceania Open Championship, as Izzat was from a non Oceania federation (Azerbaijan actually). As the tournament was run as a single 7 round swiss with 117 players, there were multiple ties for minor placings.
There was even some non-chess media coverage from the Ballarat Courier, and you can find the story here, along with a picture of event organiser Patrick Cook.

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