Sunday, 5 July 2009

2009 South African Open

In future years the 2009 South African Open might be spoken of in the same sentence as the 1965 Capablanca Memorial. In that event, Bobby Fischer played the event via telegraph, after being refused permission to travel to Cuba. Despite the handicap of the lengthened playing session, and not being able to see his opponents, he still finished second.
While South Africa in 2009 doesn't present the same difficulties for players wishing the travel there, there are 3 players taking part in the 2009 South African Open, who are half a world away. GM Gawain Jones (Eng), IM Mirko Rujevic (Aus) and IM Puchen Wang (Nzl) are playing in this event from Melbourne, Australia. Of course technology has progressed from the telegraph age (with the internet being used to transmit the moves), but I suppose the some difficulties arise. Instead of tranmission time, it is now session times, with some rounds starting at 2:30am Melbourne time. Not only does this make it difficult for the players, it also requires the supervising arbiter IA Gary Bekker to forgoe his sleep. However they all have seemed to cope so far with the 3 of them starting the event with 4/4.
Live games can be found at while the tournament results can be found at the link at the top of this post.


Anonymous said...

Why is this permitted given that the FIDE Laws of Chess apply to OVER THE BOARD play?

Anonymous said...

I am planning to drop in for very early breakfast to watch the games!