246 children attended our last major tournament of the year, the annual Xmas Swiss Chess Challenge, held at the Sydney Latvian Society Club in Strathfield.
The players were aged between 4 and 16, and the majority of them had already played in several tournaments before and have current chess ratings (between 279 and 812). There were also many players who had never used a chess clock or played in a tournament before, so this was a new experience for them.
We played 8 rounds throughout the day, and the format of the competition was such that every player competed in all rounds – no one was knocked out of the tournament.
At lunchtime (after 5 rounds were played), there were still 5 players on a perfect score: Vincent Qiang, Michael Parsons, Michael Gong, Aleksy Ginovic and Daniel Melamed. Then Michael Gong defeated Vincent, Daniel drew with Aleksy and Michael Parsons, who had the toughest Round 6 pairing, went down to top seed Parunithan Ranganathan. This left 11-year-old and 2nd seed Michael Gong as outright leader going into Round 7.
In Round 7, on the top boards, Michael defeated Aleksy and Paruni beat Lucas Woo, both winning with the black pieces. This left Michael still leading by half a point going into the final round, over Paruni and Daniel. Unfortunately for our leader he lost to top seed Paruni after a tricky tactical series of exchanges left Michael a piece down.
Congratulations to the top scorers Parunithan and Daniel who ended up undefeated on 7.5/8! Paruni took the first place trophy, with a slightly higher tiebreak than Daniel.
The full list of results and prizewinners can be downloaded from the links below.
Sydney Academy of Chess would like to thank the Sydney Latvian Society Club, which provided once again a great venue for the large numbers of people attending. Also, many thanks to our arbiters, who managed the running of the tournament and resolved any problems on the day, as well as our canteen helpers serving food and drinks for the children and parents. Thanks to the parents who made the effort to transport their children, and to the players themselves for being patient for the whole day of chess, and who displayed excellent sportsmanship towards their opponents.
Please check our Upcoming Tournaments page for future tournaments. We hope to see you again very soon!