All the information you need for Juniors that play chess in Australia
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Welcome to another edition of the Australian Junior Chess League newsletter!

Who can believe that we are already in March and are fast making our way towards Easter?

Not long now until the list with JETS candidates will be released. A list with all the names of students that have applied can be found here:

In this edition of the newsletter you can find a report on the 2017 Oceania Zonal Chess Championship and a very short report and photo's from the Begonia Open in Ballarat.

And it is not long now until the prestigious Doeberl Cup is on again in Canberra. Have you signed up yet?

Enjoy the newsletter and as always, if you would like to contribute, then we very much welcome your adventures and stories!
Congratulations  Bobby Cheng on not only winning the Batavia Chess Tournament, but also on scoring a GM norm! 
The March Ratings are available! If you have not already checked them out, then you can find them HERE

2017 Oceania Zonal Chess Championship – A Report on Australia’s Junior Players

Photo's from top to bottom left to right: Alana Chewlee, Anothony Fikh, the arbiters, Kerry vs Michael and Licia receiving her prize.

By Alana Chibnall

While the Australian Junior Championships was being held in Queensland, another major event, the Oceania Zonal, was run Auckland New Zealand. The Oceania Zonal is run every two years with both an Open and a Women’s event, As the event is very prestigious, direct titles are available for both events. Any player who scored at least 4.5/9 in their division could claim the Candidate Master title, any player who scored 6/9 would receive the FIDE Master title and the winner would receive the International Master title. The Women’s event also had women-specific titles.  

The event had a record 140 players in total, with 116 in the Open (23 Australian Juniors) and 24 in the Women’s (6 Australian Juniors). Some junior players like to play in top “adult” events like this one over other events back home, as it gives them the opportunity to play against much stronger players as well as potentially picking up a title for their score. Both the Open and Women’s events top seeds were both only 15 years old - Australian IM Anton Smirnov in the Open, and New Zealand WFM Layla Timergazi in the Women’s.

In round 1 there were already several upsets in the tournament by Australian juniors. Major upsets included Kerry Lin’s win over New Zealand FM Nicholas Croad (2278), and Regan Crowley’s win over Kirill Polishchuk (2175). In the Women’s event, Alanna Chew Lee held WIM and third seed Nancy Lane to a draw.

The first double round day was held the next day, with two games of chess being played. This may not sound like much, but for junior players (and adults!) this can be very tiring. The time control for this event was very long with most games going over 4 hours and quite a few getting to over 6! Some big upset results included Kevin Willathgamuwa’s draw with IM Russell Dive (2304), and Max Chew Lee’s draw with 2017 NZ Champion FM Scott Wastney (2350). In the Women’s Licia Yao drew both her games against the higher rated players Nancy Lane and Kathryn Hardegen.

At the end of round 4 for the Open, only 4 players remained on a perfect score, including the top seed NSW IM Anton Smirnov, and Victorian FM Karl Zelesco. Patrick Gong from WA was in the huge pack of players behind sitting on 3.5/4, proving that his new FM title was well deserved. Licia Yao continued her drawing streak in the Women’s by drawing with Zhi Lin Guo, while New Zealand’s Layla Timergazi took the outright lead on 4/4.
The next double round was held the following day. Anton Smirnov was temporarily halted in his tracks after two draws with IM Ari Dale and GM Max Illingworth. Patrick Gong moved into =2nd after the two rounds with a good win and then an upset draw against Ari. Other upsets in round 5 included Luis Chan’s draw against IM Gary Lane, and Albert Winkelman’s draw against FM Scott Wastney. Regan Crowley won against Ian Parsonage, and Albert Winkleman continued in his fine form by defeating Bruce Wheeler in round 6 to secure his CM title. The Women’s event in Round 5 had Paula Chen draw against the second seeded Helen Milligan and Alanna Chew Lee scored another two draws against the higher rated Kiwi’s Vyanla Punsalan and Helen Milligan.
The last three rounds were only one round a day, and the tournament was starting to show some leaders. At the end of round 7 Anton was sharing first with two other players in the Open, the board 1 clash was a draw. Luis Chan got to 5/7 after drawing to his high rated FM, and Michael Kethro made Scott Wastney’s record against Australian juniors even worse by scoring a draw. Female players Alanna Chew Lee and Paula Chen kept their title hopes alive with good results against strong opponents.

In the second last round, Anton took the sole lead in the Open by defeating Patrick, and Luis Chan beat experienced FM Bob Smith to reach 6/9. Max Chew Lee, Michael Kethro and Albert Winkelmen all had wins as well to get to 5.5/8 – all three would be playing for the FM title in the final round. The Women’s event had both Alanna Chew Lee and Licia Yao win their games to secure the WCM title. Cassandra Lim scored an upset draw against Helen Milligan to reach 4/8 and was also joined by Fiona Shen – both players would get the WCM in the final round if they scored a draw or better.

The final round was very tense with 8 of the top 10 boards in the Open being draws. Anton was declared the sole winner of the event scoring 7.5/9 with a last round draw. Max Chew Lee and Michael Kethro both played excellent games to draw with their higher rated opponents and score the FM title. Unfortunately, Albert Winkelman was not able to do the same, but he was still happy with his 5.5/9 score. Junior players further down also had some good results with a number receiving the CM title. In the Women’s event Cassandra Lim got her draw for the WCM title.
The Australian junior players who picked up a chess title to recognise their achievement are listed below.

Congratulations to the following players:

FIDE Master: Michael Kethro (ACT), Max Chew Lee (VIC), Luis Chan (VIC)
Candidate Master: Albert Winkelman (ACT), Anthony Fikh (NSW), Isaac Zhao (VIC), Regan Crowley (VIC), Kris Chan (VIC), William Maligin (VIC), and Bobby Yu (VIC)
Woman Candidate Master: Alanna Chew Lee (VIC), Licia Yao (VIC) and Cassandra Lim (VIC)

All the junior players in this event should be proud of their result, regardless of whether they won a title or not. These events are tough – lots of experienced junior and adult players are playing and scores against any of them should be looked at highly.

The next one of these Zonal events is likely to be held in Guam in 2019, but please keep an eye on the AusJCL website for any announcements about other international events that juniors may want to play in.

More photos for this event can be found on the Facebook page here:

Results for this tournament can be seen via these links:
Photo's from top to bottom, from left to right: Max vs Anton, Patrick Gong, prizes proudly received, willathgmuwa, prize giving

51st Begonia Open,
Ballarat Victoria

From the 11th - 13th March the Begonia Open Tournament was held in Ballarat. The superb playing venue with plenty of space for parents to relax saw Australia's best play. Out of the 120 players there were 50 junior players. Anton Smirnov being the highest ranked, followed by Jack Puccini, Kris and Luis Chan and David Cannon. It was also great to see Ballarat local juniors play and try their luck against some of Australia's strongest!

Anton Smirnov shared the first place with Stephen Solomon, James Morris and Zong-Yuan Zhou. 

This year's Arbiters were IA Peter Tsai, assisted by Nigel Barrow, Bjorn Lategan and they did a fabulous job keeping everything run smoothly. A big thank you goes out to the organisers of the event.

Final results can be found here:

More photo's of the event can be found here:

Prize winners from top and left to right
The four players who shared in the combined $5,500 prize were:
- IM Stephen Solomon.
- IM James Morris
- IM Anton Smirnov 
- GM Zong-Yuan Zhou
Albert Winkelman and CM Vishal Bhat shared first in Group A with $600 each.
Group B was won by Ethan Goh for  $800
Juniors playing at the Begonia Open from left to right: Kathleen, Gavyn, Justin and Liam
50 Moves is an exciting digital chess magazine, created in PDF and PGN form to allow for easy reading. Our team of contributors features some of Australia’s chess legends and combines their knowledge and experience with the energy of our leading young stars to create a magazine which is both entertaining and informative.

Online Masterclasses are also conducted on a regular basis for players of all levels, with our best players and guest Grandmasters as instructors.

Celebrating 10 years of
Total Chess! (WA)

Firstly just a friendly reminder that this Saturday is the 2017 Southern River Junior Tournament at 1:45pm. Entries are growing nicely with many of new juniors playing for the first time so looks like it going to be a great day. Make sure to enter early if you would like to play.

Click Here to Enter the Tournament and view Entry Form

After this tournament there will be a few weeks break until we reach the 2017 Celebration Junior Tournament which will be held on Saturday 20 May. On this day there will be a few different chess activities which will make for a great way to celebrate 10 years running of Total Chess.

Schedule of Day

Simultaneous Display – 9:30am to 11:45am FREE
Dennis will challenge up to 30 players at once. Prizes for anyone who wins.

Juniors vs Parent/Guardian Challenge – 12:15pm to 1:00pm FREE
Each child plays 2 games against their parent/guardian and record the score. At the end we will see who the victors are overall, the Juniors or the Adults!

Tenth Year Celebration Junior Tournament – 2:00pm to 4:45pm $20
This tournament combines the fun of individual and team tournaments by running both in one epic tournament. Individuals and Team Prizes are both awarded. Each player can enter as an individual or in a team. If you enter as a team you can still win the individual prizes.

All Day FUN Events
Throughout the day there will be fun activities for sibling and players alike such as colouring, chess puzzles, Jenga and some other fun surprises! There will also be door prizes and other spot prizes for the activities throughout the day!

Sausage Sizzle from 1pm and Chess Products for Sale at the event (cash only)

Both events held at Thornlie Christian College in Southern River

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