Another successful Novice tournament was run on the 25th of November, this time at the Pancake Parlour in the city.

Holding the tournament in the city was something that had not been tried before. Traditionally these Novice tournaments have been held in the Eastern suburbs. The venue seemed to draw a lot of people though.

The day started hectically with a number of late entries. It was decided that one floor of the Pancake Parlour was not sufficient for the growing number of players and so we spilled over onto the second floor as well.

When all was said and done we had 70 players. This number surpassed the last couple but still fell short of the 82 players that Hilda O’Callaghan managed to attract to one in 1994. Next
time we hope to break the 100 player mark!

The tournament was divided into sections by age, but some people who had played before were moved up a section. Next time more players will have Junior League ratings so it will
be possible to segregate players in rating groups.

Now on to the tournament.

The Open and Under-14 section was dominated by Tom Haines all the way up to the last round. Tom has been a regular at Junior tournaments for a number of years and his experience
paid off. He finished with 6/7 losing only his last game, to Joe Connolly. Sam Chow who was eligible for the Under 8’s was the runner up. He is also very experienced despite his youth.

Third place went to a newcomer to the junior scene. Joe Connolly was introduced to mainstream chess after playing in a Northern Suburbs chess day. This interschool event encouraged him to play in tournaments outside school where he is now doing very well. Other well-known names were amongst the ranks, as well as some new faces.

The Under-12 section was won convincingly by the duo from King David. It was the first time George Mirmelstein and Ruffy Elisha had played outside school. George defeated Ruffy in the playoff but revenge was taken at school the next week with Ruffy defeating George in a game there.

Third place went to Maryam Shamsul and another promising new face, James Doidge, both of whom are getting stronger all the time. Maryam defeated George, but lost to Ruffy. Maryam had by far the hardest draw, taking out a girls’ prize instead of having a play off for third.

The Under 9’s and 10’s was a combined section. It was a little closer here. Gordon Lindberg finished first with 6/7 only half a point ahead of Shannon Abersteiner. Shannon hasn’t played for a while and this was a welcome return to chess.

Third was shared by Paul Leong and Imran Shamsul. Imran’s sister was a prizewinner and Paul’s brother was a prizewinner too. It is plain to see that the kids who can play at home as well as in clubs or school get better quicker. The old adage about practice making perfect seems to hold true here.

Top girl prizes were awarded in each section, and Samantha Tyson was the highest placed girl in the Under 10’s. A new face, Aberna Devapalasunda, was the winner of the Under 9 trophy. A special well done must go to Douglas Lindberg. He was put up from the Under 8’s to play in the Under 10’s and finished in a very creditable 7th place after facing a hard

As we went down through the ages the competitions became tougher and tougher. The Under 8’s was very close indeed.

It seemed for a long time that Ashley Pettit was going to win. But then he lost a game to Matthew Doidge. Mark Leong lost to Ashley Pettit early on but won every game after that to finish equal first.

Mark has had a bit more experience in speed chess, and took out the 5-minute playoff 2-0.

Third place was also shared. Matthew Doidge and Raymond Morris played for the trophy for third. Raymond won that playoff.

The girls’ prize for the Under 8’s was fought out in a playoff. Louise Dana just defeated Emily Rothfield to win this.

It was great to see a lot of new faces, and a lot of old ones too. These novice tournaments are designed to introduce more players to the mainstream Junior scene. It is also to provide a place for juniors to play against others who are of the same strength.

During the next year there will be six tournaments such as this.

Final Scores:
Open & Under 14

6.0 Tom Haines
5.5 Sam Chow
5.0 Joe Connolly
4.5 De nni s Bourmi s t ro v, 4. 0
Anjellica Zivanovic, Daniel Martin,
Sandy Krstic, 3.5 Leon Leontyev,
Chris Wong, 3.0 Teddy Krstic, Scott
Matthews, Shumsheer Ghumman, 2.0
David Arney, Raf Kaplan, Ken Wang,
1.0 Julien Buhagiar.

Under 12
6.0 George Mirmelstein, Ruffy Elisha
5.0 Maryam Shamsul, James Doidge
4.0 Marcus Klein, Amit Khazanchi,
Luisa Umber, Alice Turner, 3.5 Arna
Michalizac, 3.0 Michael Papier,
Andrew Butler, 2.5 Zoe Bonsema, Iain
Ryder, 2.0 Katherine Lee, 1.5 Fiona
Palmer, 0.0 Nicholas D’Aloisio.

Under 10 & Under 9
6.0 Gordon Lindberg
5.5 Shannon Abersteiner
5.0 Paul Leong, Imran Shamsul
4.5 Naeem Huque, Iain James, 4.0
Douglas Lindberg, Samantha Tyson,
Nikki Krstic, Dael McAsey, Joshua
Martin, 3.5 Taiawa Robinson, Thomas
Rees-Lee, Andrea Morris, 3.0 Carl
Umber, Kar Lu Chu, Brent Jackson,
Andrew Dana, Aberna Devapalasunda,
2.5 Rebecca Marano, 2.0 Alistair
Baines, Jasmine Bok, 1.5 Darren
Lynch, 0.0 India Jan.

Under 8
6.0 Ashley Pettit, Mark Leong
5.0 Matthew Doidge, Raymond
4.0 Emily Rothfield, Louise Dana, 3.5
Dwayne Stojcevski, 2.5 Alex Chu, 2.0
Anthony Lang, Liam Doidge, 1.5
Adrian McAsey, 0.5 Andrew Baines.