Monday, 24 December 2018

Smirnov wins Australasian Masters

GM Anton Smirnov has won the 2018 Australasian Masters, with an impressive  score of 7.5/9. Australia's Number 1 player was undefeated, with 6 wins and 3 draws. In second place was IM Bobby Cheng, who scored 6.5/9, which was enough for his third and final GM norm. He was only beaten by Smirnov, winning 5 and drawing 3 of his remaining games. The other good performance in hits event was by FM Karl Zelesco, who finished on 4.5, which was enough for his third and final IM norm.
IM Ari Dale finished first in the IM event, also scoring an unbeaten 7.5/9. FM Brandon Clarke was the third player to earn a title norm, scoring 7/9 to pick up his second IM norm.
Three norms is quite an impressive strike rate for a single event, as is two Australian players earning titles on the same day. Cheng becomes the 10th Australian player to become a GM, while Zelesco continues the run of young Australian players earning the IM title.

Cheng,Bobby (2510) - Kvon,Andrey (2509) [E91]
2018 Australasian Masters GM Norm Tourna Melbourne (9.2), 23.12.2018

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