Monday 27 May 2024

2024 ACT Championship - Final Day

 IM Junta Ikeda has won his 11th ACT Championship, repeating his 7/7 score he also achieved in last years tournament. His round 6 game against FM Michael Kethro left him a point in front with 1 round to play, but a win over NSW junior Reyaansh Chakrabarty in round 7 kept his 100% record intact. 2nd place was shared between FM Michael Kethro, CM Lalit Prasad, and ACT junior, Masaki Horikawa, on 5.5. Horikawa started the tournament seeded 20th, so his 2nd place finish was quite an achievement. 

Oladoyan Fasakin and Somon Vos shared the Under 2000 prize, while the Under 1600 prize was shared between Simon Louie, Jerry Cheng, Lohit Hegde, Aarav Rawat and Olamide Fasakin. Padma Gyalpo was the best FIDE unrated player,

While the first 3 days went pretty smoothly, day 4 was filled with drama. On opening the venue, it became apparent there was no power. Round 6 was started, while the cause was investigated. It turns out that there was an 'unscheduled power outage' in the suburb, which not only meant no lights in the playing area, but no live game broadcast as well. Fortunately there was enough natural light in the venue to allow the round to proceed. The promised repair time (by EVO Energy) came and went, and further enquiries were made. Power was then restored to the suburb, but not, it turned out, to the small area where the venue was located. Another promised repair time was missed, followed by a more general 'sometime between 1pm and 4pm'. With round 7 starting at 2:45pm it soon became clear that if the lighting was not restored, the games would finish in darkness. 4pm passed by without EVO delivering on their promise, and games were moved to areas closer to the windows. Even this proved unsatisfactory and the organisers were reduced to trying to light the inside of the venue with car headlights from the outside. I even added a new arbiting skill to my toolbox, walking through the bush to where the workman were located to either (a) get an estimated time of repair or (b) a supply of industrial strength torches to light the venue. Just as I reached the worksite I was told it had been fixed and the lights would be back soon. At 5:35pm (35 minutes past sunset) the lights did in fact come on, 8.5 hours after they went out. There were half a dozen games still in progress, and the tournament eventually finished under playable conditions.

As the Chief Arbiter, I would like to thank all the players for their understanding in what turned out to be very difficult conditions. While I am sure some players last round results were impacted by the poor (non-existent) lighting, they recognised that this was outside the control of the organisers and arbiters.

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