Thursday 29 August 2019

Lots of travel for a bit of chess

Starting early next week I will be off on one of the stranger chess adventures I have ever had. My first port of call is Honiara, in the Solomon Islands, to run a FIDE Arbiters training course. The day after that finishes I am off to Khanty-Mansiysk for the 2019 World Cup, going via Brisbane, Dubai and Moscow. While the first part of the trip was planned months ago, the second half of the trip only came about in somewhat strange circumstances.
GM Max Illingworth was the original representative from the Oceania Zone, by virtue of winning the 2019 Oceania Zonal. However, due to personal circumstances he was unable to attend the World Cup, which meant the runner up could go in his place. I was the runner up! So with very short notice I had to organise visa's and travel, which fortunately I was able to do.
Given the way the seeding system works, my first round opponent  is Ding Liren. This is obviously a tough pairing for me (not so much for him), but hopefully I can put up a fight. I would joke that I am heartened by the number of draws he had at the just completed Sinqufeld Cup, but the fact he has just finished equal first has convinced me not to.


David Lovejoy said...

Although it's obviously a bit of a freak situation, playing in the World Cup is a great way to crown your career, not to mention your bank account. Congratulations, Shaun!

Unknown said...

Great news - have a wonderful trip! Do Oceania proud!

Fred said...

How good

Mark Weeks said...

I saw your name in the pairings and wondered how you qualified. Now I know! Thanks for sharing and good luck against Ding Liren.