Friday 2 January 2009

2009 Australian Open underway

The 2009 Australian Open began this afternoon at the Manly-Warringah Leagues Club, just inland from Sydney's northern beaches. The move back to a major population centre like Sydney (as opposed to smaller places like Mt Buller or Canberra), had a positive effect on the numbers, with the Open attracting 15 more players than in 2006-07 (73 for round 1). The secondary event (the Norths Chess Club Centenary Tournament) attracted 53 players, giving a total turn out of 126 player (exceeding the 112 in Canberra 2 years ago).
IM Mark Chapman is the top seed, with IM George Xie, FM Vladimir Smirnov and IM Aleks Wohl filling out the top 4. All 4 top seeds won there first round games, although there were upsets on the lower boards. Live game coverage can be found at the tournament website (2 games today, hopefully 4 tomorrow) as well as links to all the games played in the 1st round for both events (Good work organisers!).
Probably the most noticeable game from round 1 was top seed Mark Chapman's quick demolition of Dennis Wan.

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