Sunday, 16 December 2012

2012 Australasian Masters

11 year old Anton Smirnov has been crowned the 2012 Australasian Masters Champion after tie-ing for first with IM James Morris and FM Bobby Cheng. Smirnov defeated both Cheng and Morris in their individual games, and won the title on countback.
The final round saw Smirnov paired with his father, IM Vladimir Smirnov, which in hindsight was a little unfortunate. Not only was Anton playing for first place, he also needed a win to earn an IM norm. This reportedly led to a Melbourne chess identity offering odds of 10,000-1 against a specific result, but a draw between father and son resulted in Anton missing out on his first norm. (As an aside, there was a brother - sister pairing in the final round of the Australian Junior Masters, and I suspect that arbiters may now be a little more aware of restricted drawing of lots for future RR events).
In the other final round games, Morris drew with IM Guy West, while Bobby Cheng caught the leaders with a win over German visitor Arkadius Kalka.
Tournament standings, plus some photos from the event, are available here.

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