The 2015 ACTCA Rapidplay Championship attracted a record field of 42 players, with IM Junta Ikeda once again emerging victorious. This is his 5 victory in the last 7 years, winning from 2009-2012 plus this year (he did not play in 2013-14).
Despite the 36 degree heat the field was both sizeable and strong. Apart from Ikeda, Michael Kethro and Roger Farrell were rated over 2100, while a number of rapid chess veterans filled out the top half of the tournament. However Ikeda was unstoppable, scoring 7/7 in a dominant display. This left a very tight battle for second place, which was decided in the final game of the tournament, with Matthew Bennett and Willis Lo drawing their game and finishing on 5.5/7. A number of strong players finished on 5, which was only good enough for rating prizes. Probably the best performer based on rating was WFM Megan Setiabudi, who started with 4/4 and finished on 5/7. Surprisingly for an event like this, the various rating prizes were evenly split between juniors and adults, rather than going exclusively to the younger players.
Due to the generous sponsorship of King O'Malley's and Chicken Gourmet, the total prize pool was $500. Apart from open prizes there were 4 other rating groups, and each section was hard fought. The large field reflected what has been a good year for ACT Chess, beginning with a record turn out for the 2015 Australian Junior Championship, successful events like the O2C Doeberl Cup, the ANU Open and the Vikings Weekender, plus well attended ACTCA activities.
The first official ACTCA event in the new year will be the ACT Lightning Championship which will be held mid January.