Monday, 8 January 2018

2018 Australian Championship - Day 6

Day 6 of the 2018 Australian Championship was a rest day for the main events, which might have been a good thing given the extremely high temperatures in Sydney (over 40 Celsius for most of the day). Instead of slow chess, 102 players turned up to play the 2018 Australian Blitz Championship instead.
The tournament was an 11 round swiss, played with a 3m+2s time control. For the first time, the new FIDE Blitz rules were in effect, with the most significant change being that the first illegal move no longer loses the game (an additional minute being given to the opponent instead).
English FM Brandon Clarke was almost unstoppable in winning the event, scoring 10.5/11, dropping only half a point to IM James Morris. He played 1 GM and 5 IM's and had a performance rating over 2700. GM Moulthun Ly finished 2nd on 9.5/11, with IM Kanan Izzat third on 9/11. Ly's second place was enough to earn the title of Australian Blitz Champion though, as Clarke was ineligible for the title.
Despite the new rule changes, the tournament ran very smoothly. The two 'floor' arbiters (myself and Nick Cooper) were able to handle the various illegal move claims quite quickly (usually 2 or 3 a round), while Bob Keast did a great job of collecting results. A lot of the credit for the smooth running of the tournament should go to the players themselves, as there no disputes, and no reasons to trouble the appeals committee.

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