Thursday, 27 December 2018

2019(?) Australian Open

The 2019 Australian Open has has begun in Ashwood, Melbourne, and has attracted a massive field of 300+ players. I'm pretty sure this is a record for this tournament, although the early 2000's the tournament was often run in a single section.
The Open field is 167 strong, with GM Anton Smirnov as the top seed, with GM's Justin Tan, Vasily Papin and Darryl Johansen as the other GM's in the field. There are 11 IM's and the top 9 seeds are rated above 2400.
The first round didn't see too many upsets on the top boards, with WGM Julia Ryjanova the highest seeded player held to a draw and  CM Tony Davis the only higher seeded player to lose.
One possible reason for the large numbers is the event has been compressed into 5 days. It runs until the 31st December 2018, which means that the 2019 title holder will be determined before the end of 2018 (hence the question mark in the heading). While the organisers can regard this as a successful outcome for the event (especially as no one else wished to host it), it does reduce the significance of the title somewhat.
The event homepage is at and you can follow various links to pairings and live (if intermittent) coverage.

1 comment:

John Stark said...

Eager for the Australian Open 2019!! Former World No.1 Maria Sharapova was in emphatic form to kick off play at the 2019 Australian Open.