Thursday 12 January 2023

2023 Australian Open - Final Day

 GM Temur Kuybokarov wrapped up the 2023 Australian Open with a final round win over Leah Rice. Kuybokarov finished on 9.5/11 to win the Australian Open for the third time in a row (although he did share first in 2017 and 2019). In outright 2nd was GM Jingyao Tin on 9, while there was a 5 way tie for third. 

Kuybokarov's win was fairly straightforward although he was in trouble against FM Yi Liu in their game. All the other competitors dropped at least one game, usually at the point where they couldn't afford to. This also meant that no one scored a title norm, as the low average rating of the fields meant a high score was required.

One notable feature of the tournament was some massive rating gains by younger players. Leah Rice picks up around 250 rating points, while a number of other players had increases of over 100 points. Partly this is due to the 40k factor that is applied to junior players, but there is also a bit of 'covid lag' where young players have been improving, but not playing enough tournaments to reflect this.

As an arbiter I found the event very well organised. The chief organiser Andrew Hardegen, with the assistance of the CAWA, put together a great venue, a professional organising team, and a tournament that ran like clockwork. I would also like to say (possibly for the first time ever) that the behaviour of the junior players was excellent! Hopefully the CAWA will be encouraged to organise more national events, as if they meet the standard of this tournament, then they will be well worth attending.

Full results for the tournament (and a link to the minor) can be found at

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