The other major event that I need to report on from over the holidays is the Australian Junior Championships which were held in Sydney in mid-January. The winners were:

2014 Australian Junior Championship Title Holders:
Under 18 Open: Anton Smirnov (NSW)
Under 18 Girls: Shirley Gu (NSW)
Under 16 Open: George Carolin-Unkovich (WA)
Under 16 Girls: Zhi Lin Guo (VIC)
Under 14 Open: Rishi Dutta (NSW)
Under 14 Girls: Alanna Chew Lee (VIC) (def. Theresa Gu (NSW) 1.5-0.5 in the playoff)
Under 12 Open: Kerry Lin (NSW) (def. Haran Salasan (VIC) 1.5-0.5 in the playoff)
Under 12 Girls: Licia Yao (VIC)
Under 10 Open: Bobby Yu (VIC)
Under 10 Girls: Cassandra Lim (VIC)
Under 8 Open: Jay Landau (VIC) (def. Sebastian Bracks (NSW) 2-0 in the playoff)
Under 8 Girls: Ye Seul Ok (SA)

The Junior Championships always present a problem for our very top juniors who have just competed in the Australian Championships (Seniors).  Are they too strong to play in the Juniors and do they have anything to gain by playing?  Fortunately for the other players this year both Anton Smirnov and Karl Zelesco decided to play in both tournaments and try to win the Australian Junior title.

At the Australian Championships Anton played for the title in the last round but lost, thus allowing Karl to finish higher.  How would they go against each other in the Junior?  Clearly their game would decide the title.  This time Anton prevailed with some nice tactics.  See if you can pick his moves from the diagram below.

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