Thursday, January 19, 2012

Record entries at 2012 Australian Junior Champioships

The 2012 Australian Junior Championships run under the auspices of the Australian Junior Chess League (AusJCL) by the Melbourne Chess Club (MCC) has had the biggest number of entries in the history of the event. The tournament is being held at Spensley Street Primary School in Melbourne's Clifton Hill suburb, a short trip from Melbourne's CBD. The chief architect of the project has been Simon Dale, a 2011 committee member of both the MCC and the AusJCL which made him an excellent liaison. Simon has worked tirelessly throughout the year to make this event happen and I don't think it is unfair to say that the 2012 Australian Junior Championship and therefore the whole Australian chess community owes Simon Dale a big thankyou.

With 277 entries, the 2012 Australian Junior championship far outstrips previous events, and this may be attributed to the change of format that happened in 2011. The Hobart event of 2012 was a landmark event because it was decided to change the format from 11 rounds to 9 rounds, and the younger age groups changed to less days with multiple games on those days. The net effect is that families don't have to take a 2week break to play in the tournament, and even the older age groups (under 18 and 16) only have a week of play with the weekend before and after tagged on. Last year's event saw a huge increase in numbers compared to the Hobart 2010 Championship and this year, the numbers have far exceeded the previous biggest entry of 210 in Canberra 2007.
Chales Zworestine

David Cordover

The main arbiter's for the tournament are Charles Zworestine and David Cordover. Charles is generally happy with the event except for perhaps the under 16 event which could see extra numbers, and the girls tournaments which have seen perhaps a decrease in numbers. The under 18 event has lost some stronger players to the Queenstown Classic in New Zealand, but still has 21 players which is only 7 less than last year.

We already have some age group winners:

Under 8 - Bobby Yu (Vic)
Under 10 - Kevin Willathgamuwa (NSW)
Under 8 Girls - Emily Lin (Vic)
Under 10 Girls - Jody Middleton (Vic)

There are many adults around coaching, arbitering, and generally helping. The parents of the school have been great in running a canteen, while there has been a barbecue going each day run also by volunteers, sometimes from the school and sometimes from the MCC. Chesskids have been helping out with bulletin writing, game analysis and generally controlling the events. Chesskids have also pioneered the Tornelo system which is being used to manage the tournament. The game input feature has been a great success and already 640 games have been uploaded with some being loaded live by volunteers. And there have been some of the strongest players and coaches from around the country helping their protege's to score the best results. One game that came to the attention of IM Robert Jamieson was from yesterday's under 14 tournament.

1 comment:

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