We had an increase of over 30 players compared to last year at our annual Burwood Chess Challenge – this year 262 chess players competed in the winter holidays event, hosted by Club Burwood RSL in their Entertainment Dome. The event started in the year 2015, making this the 5th annual tournament.
The players’ JCL ratings ranged from 273 up to top seeded Shaheel Faizal with 811. We also had over 70 unrated players, who were attending their first or second big tournament.
The only result close to an upset in the first three rounds was eighth seed Maxim Berberian conceding a draw with Kevin Xia rated 481 in Round 3, a difference of about 200 rating points. There were only six players on a perfect score after 5 rounds. Juha Narimatsu drew with top seed Shaheel Faizal on board 1, and Kalaish Stanley and James Phan defeated Sebastian Wei and John Nguyen respectively on boards 2 and 3. Meanwhile, Maxim was sneaking through the field, with a victory over Edward Hu on board 4 to reach 5.5/6.
This left James and Kalaish to battle it out in the penultimate round, with James the winner, leaving him the sole leader on 7/7, with one round remaining. Maxim was the only player on 6.5/7, after he had another big win over Shaheel on board 2. This set up an exciting finish, as of course Maxim had to play James in the last round, with the 1st Place trophy guaranteed to the winner.
The new Burwood Chess Challenge winner for 2019 is Maxim Berberian with an undefeated 7.5/8 after defeating James Phan in the final round. Well played, Maxim! He will take home the trophy for 1st Place, and also will have his name engraved on the Burwood Chess Challenge perpetual silver cup.
The final standings, crosstable and list of prizewinners can be downloaded from the links below. Sydney Academy of Chess would like to thank Club Burwood RSL for supporting the event by providing a fantastic and spacious dome, and for supplying lunch and drinks for the players and arbiters. A big thanks goes to the parents for making it possible for the players to compete, by driving them to and from Burwood, and to all of our wonderful arbiters and helpers on the day for working hard to ensure the day ran smoothly. Finally thanks to all of the players who made their very best efforts to display good sportsmanship and fair play.
We hope to see you at another chess event soon!