156 chess players attended the 24th edition of our bi-annual Inner West Chess Challenge at the Sydney Latvian Society Club in Strathfield, which has been running since 2007. This year, the event was very close to the Easter long-weekend, which may explain that many families may have already gone away on holidays. However, this did mean that there was plenty of space in the hall, and that the noise level was quite acceptable for most of the day.
About 65% of the players had JCL ratings prior to the tournament. Of those rated players, their ratings ranged from 831 (top seed Sebastian Wei), down to 304. We are always pleased to see many new players to competition chess – this time we had about 50.
At the lunchtime break after Round 5, none of the top 3 seeded players were on 5/5. There were only 3 players who had achieved a flawless score – John Nguyen, Eric Liu and Aidan Seifert. Aidan defeated John in Round 6, and Eric used his outside passed h-pawn as endgame bait, and was victorious over Angus Cheng, leaving the two winners battling each other in Round 7.
Eric won again in Round 7, but was toppled in the final round by Zhenyu Shen to leave 4 players on the highest score of the day, which was 7/8. As Eric was on the top board for many of the rounds against the strongest opposition, he deserves the highest tiebreak score and so takes out the title of Inner West Chess Champion – congratulations Eric! The other players tied for 1st-4th place in order of higher tiebreak scores were Kalaish Stanley, Zhenyu Shen and Aidan Seifert.
The final standings, crosstable and list of prizewinners can be downloaded from the links below. Sydney Academy of Chess would like to thank the Sydney Latvian Society Club once again for supporting the event by providing an excellent, spacious hall, all of the parents for driving their children to and from the venue, many of whom stayed to encourage them during the tournament, all of our wonderful arbiters and helpers on the day for running the tournament, and finally all of the players for their great sportsmanship and fair play throughout the day.
We hope to see you at another chess event soon!