The week leading up to the City of Sydney Rapidplay was perfect chess playing weather: Wet and Cloudy. But on the sunday - the sun did shine! The previous week's weather must have still been on chessplayers mind as a bumper crowd of 58 players turned up to contest the title. There were 7 players with a rating of over 2000.
The tournament started with the fill in Arbiter Shane "Bergil" Burgess jokingly stating that if he had to get up to rule on something he'd forfeit the player! :D
The top seeds all started without a hitch with the exception of Paul Broekhuyse (2044) falling to the much lower rated Peter Yang (1440) on board 5. Board 1 say NSWCA Treasurer Norm Greenwood battle it out against top seed Vladimir Smirnov, sitting next to him was was his son Anton Smirnov who lost to second seed Max Illingworth, on board three Ed Agulto defeated Parramatta Chess club junior Andrew Pan, Blair Mandla defeated Peter Hannigan on board 4, Ivan Zirdum defeated Michael Tracey and the eccentric Johny Bolen defeated Nicholas Deen-Cowell. Other upsets for the round: Duncan Peters (1904) losing to Valsalan Karayi (1332), Kamal Jain defeated Trent Parker, and stephen stipic went down to an unrated Shan Siddiqi.
Round two saw Vladimir Smirnov account for Parramatta club stalwart Joshua Christensen on board one, Illingworth defeated Cary Cowling on board 2, Ed agulto defeated Frank Barisic on three, Blair Mandla (2116) conceded a draw on board 4 against Adrian Chau (1616), Ivan Zirdum defeated Stevan Jovanovic on 5, and Bolens defeated the young rising star in Sean Gu. The unrated Shan Siddiqi continued in good form by defeating Rob Hvistendahl. Other upsets includedunrated Gerges Fady defeating Stephen Stipic, Samuel Talisayan (1192) once again defeated Trent Parker (1553) after defeating him in the Parramatta club rapidplay the previous Thursday. Michael Tracey drew with unrated Egon Cardenas and unrated Shaun Morgan defeated David Beveridge.
Round three saw Vladimir Smirnov (2324) upset by Joseph Nguyen (1832) on top board, Max illingworth defeated Angelito Camer, Ed Agulto accounted for Dr Vasil Tulevski, Ivan Zirdum defeated Francisco Plaza and Johny Bolens defeated John Redgrave. Upsets for the round included: Frank Barisic (1615) drawing with Valsalan Karayi (1332), Nicholas Deen Cowell defeating Stevan Jovanovic, Trent Parker getting a lucky draw against Michael Tracey (1418) (hooray i'm on the board!). Jasper Hong drew (655) with drew with Shan-Shan Qiao(1207).
Round 4, and the big guns start to play each other. Shane Burgess, in his cheeky teasing way gave Max a new nickname..... Pepsi Max. Bolens was the victim of Max's bubbling form in this round. The game was one of the first games finished due to Bolens' miscalculation. Ed Agulto (2174) drew with Kimberly Jane Cunanan (1961) for both to bail out of the joint lead, and Joseph Nguyen couldn't continue his giant killing ways losing to Ivan Zirdum, who joined Max in the lead of the tournament. Both Vladimir Smirnov and Blair Mandla were in the chasing pack trying to keep in contact with the leaders, unfortunately Mandla floated down to Vladimir Smirnov and the Russian was victorious. The person Blair drew with earlier, Adrian Chau, caused another upset draw against Duncan Peters. Other upsets included: Andrew Pan over John Redgrave, Nicholas Deen-Cowell overCary Cowling, Bernard Chau (1249) over Frank Barisic, Anton Smirnov being defeated by Shan Siddiqi, Henry Rara (1538) going down to Tony Wong (1204), Michael Tracey conceded his third draw in a row against unrated Mitchell Barker, and Unrated players robert beeman, Kamal Jain and Shaun Morgan had their way against the likes of David Beveridge, Bob Sewell and Vincent Chen. (and I finally got a win on the board....albeit against a 655 rating)
Just Past Half way mark and the placings were: 1-2 Illingworth, Zirdum 4/4, 3-4 Aguilto, Cunanan 3.5/4, 5-16 V. Smirnov, Broekhuyse, Bolens, Camer, Plaza, Nguyen, Tulevski, Kanostrevac, Babic, A. Chau, Pan, Deen-Cowell 3/4.
The front runners played each other in round 5 to see who would take the outright lead and shorten their odds of winning the City of Sydney Rapidplay Championship. Illingworth Defeated Zirdum. Board two saw Ed Agulto defeat Bolens, Angelito Camer kept up within a point of the leaders by defeating Kimberly Jane Cunanan, Vladimir Smirnov accounted for Zeljko Kanostrevac to keep his chances alive and Paul Broekhuyse kept bubbling to the top after his first round loss by defeating Adrian Chau. Upsets for the round includedJoseeph Nguyen (1832) sharing the point with Michael Babic (1699), Shan Siddiqi continued his stellar run by beating Bernard Chan, John Redgrave (1719) defeated the Campbelltown Collegians Chess Club treasurer Duncan Peters (1904), Anthony Villanueva (1573) drew with Peter Yang (1440).
It was Ed Agulto's turn to succumb to the wrath of Max Illingworth in round 6 ended Ed's chances of winning the City of Sydney Rapid and secured Max a share of the title. Vladimir Smirnov Kept his chances alive by defeating Angelito Camer, Paul Broekhuyse (2044) knocked his chances out by drawing with Francisco Plaza (1844) as did Ivan Zirdum (2040) by drawing with Vasil Tulevski (1793). All others could not catch Max. Upsets for the roundincluded: Shan Siddiqi over Zeljko Kanostrevac, Herman Rachmadi over John Redgrave, Sean Gu over Cary Cowling, Nicholas Deen-Cowell over Frank Barisic, Bernard Chan over Trent Parker, Gerges Fady over Rooty Hill's Henry Rara, Tony Wong over Peter Hannagan, Unrated Haun Morgan defeating Vince Chiara, Kamal Jain defeating David Beveridge and Valsalan Karayi defeating Stephen Stipic.
It all starts with Russian and it all ends with a Russian..... well it did for Max Illingworth. Max started the tournament playing Anton Smirnov and in the final round he played Vladimir Smirnov. Max played out an endgame being an exchange up but with Smirnov with a pawn on the 7th rank. Max gave up a Rook to push one of his pawns home whilst stopping Smirnov's pawn from promoting. Max Illingworth is the City Of Sydney Rapidplay Champion!
This was an excellent tournament and i think fun was had by all!
Photos and maybe a chess position will be added to the Chess.com version of my Blog.