Monday 31 December 2018

2018 Chessexpress Player of the Year

After skipping this award last year, I made sure to have a look at various performances of Australian players in 2018, so as not to forget two years in a row.
Once again a number of players had excellent performances. both locally and internationally, and it could have gone to any of them. But as in past years I also look at a unique or special achievement within the last 12 months to help me decide.
Based on this, the 2018 Chessexpress Player of the Year award goes to GM Justin Tan. Justin, who I think gets a little overlooked in Australia, earned his GM title not once, but twice! At first it was though his performance in the 4NCL was enough for his final norm, only to have it rejected on technical grounds. He then went and won the 2018 Paracin Open with 7.5/9, which did earn him his final norm. He also scored an undefeated 5.5/9 in the British Championship, and just today finished in third place at the Australian Open. 
So congratulations to GM Justin Tan for a successful 2018.


Unknown said...

Probably the greatest disappointment was that the organisers had expected well over 200 players but only 162 players actually entered. Grizzled former stalwarts such as Johansen, Lovejoy and Hacche pitting themselves against a new crop of upstarts such as Tan, Liu and Yang. The usual under performers such as Bas Van Riel, Tony Davis, and Gary Lycette were joined by a new under performer Rob Loveband! There were whispers among the spectators that Tony Dowden may have been using a chess engine squirrelled away in a nappy, as he had actually beaten two Fide Masters in a row, but this claim proved to be unfounded.
In all, the national championship has become a weekender and not a very strong one at that.

Unknown said...

No 'chimp out' from David Beaumont this time?

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Shaun!

It's true that he does get a little overlooked by the Australian chess community, but hopefully his performance at the Open has reminded others of his existence and achievements as an Aussie on the international stage. It's therefore especially nice for him to be recognised by Chessexpress!


Kevin Bonham said...

Just to clarify Justin's 4NCL norm was never actually ruled invalid by FIDE. Australia didn't submit an application including it because it seemed so clearly ineligible based on the altered rules as written. The organisers were discussing it with QC, but just weeks later Justin, who showed great character bouncing back from the setback, got another norm anyway. Then at the Congress there was some informal closed-session QC discussion where the majority decided that the rule didn't actually mean remotely what it said, and was only meant to apply to Zonals, and that they would have accepted the norm after all. So in effect Justin got his GM title with 4 norms.

Shaun Press said...

Thanks for the update Kevin