46th Begonia Tournament 2012

2012 Begonia Open - Tournament Report by Gary Bekker

Thank you for participating in the 2012 Begonia Open and supporting the event. A record 131 players took part, and this year’s Begonia Open tournament was one of the strongest ever, with 22 participants rated over 2100. We hope you enjoyed the tournament and look forward to seeing you again next year. Details will be available on www.begoniaopen.com. Please note that results, performance charts, and estimated rating changes are available on the Tornelo web site.
As usual for this event, the pairings for the first two rounds were accelerated. As well as pairing the top players against each other sooner, this avoids the theoretical possibility of two players jointly winning the event with a perfect score of 7/7 not having played each other. This led to some tough encounters as early as round two including upset losses by Stephen Solomon, Bobby Cheng, and Guy West. Further draws and upsets, left Domagoj Dragicevic and Alistair Cameron sharing the lead with a perfect score going into round 5. They drew their round 5 encounter, allowing overseas competitor Patrick Scharrer (ITA) to join the lead.
In round 6, Patrick Scharrer defeated Alistair Cameron, and Domagoj Dragecevic defeated Stephen Solomon, to share the lead going into the final round. Scharrer and Dragecevic quickly drew their final game, and this allowed Brodie McClymont to join them in finishing equal first on 6 points.
Equal fourth was shared by Bobby Cheng, IM Guy West, Dusan Stojic, and Justin Tan on 5.5 points. Leon Kempen, who recently came equal first in the Guam International, won the Group A division. Ballarat stalwart Bas Van Riel and rapid improver Joseph Wong jointly won Group B. Group C finished in a three-way tie between Marko Grabovac, Joe Flexmore, and Gary Lin.
Thanks to Chess World / Chess Kids for sponsoring the tournament and providing their Tornelo tournament software. Thank you to Kevin Perrin, Patrick Cook, and the Ballarat Chess Club organisers for hosting the event and putting in an enormous amount of work to make the tournament run so smoothly. Thank you Chris Depasquale for publishing an excellent report of the tournament in The Age on Saturday, despite very limited access to the top games. As usual, Raelene Zelesco took some excellent photos of the tournament too. Many others also supported the tournament and volunteered their time, and this is very warmly appreciated.
The top board games from the tournament have been attached as a PGN file. The Swiss Perfect tournament files are also attached and have been submitted to the ACF Grand Prix Co-ordinator and to the relevant ratings officers for ACF and FIDE ratings. There is also a small selection of photos I took attached as well.
Although there were some problems with internet access, and our game publishing on the internet, the tournament ran quite smoothly. We would, however, appreciate your feedback on how we can make the tournament better in future. Please feel free to email me your suggestions, no matter how big or small.

An interesting report from Chess Chat site authored by 'lost'

The Ballarat Begonia Open was a rather interesting tournament this year with overseas players, strong fields, record numbers, upsets galore, but the ultimate one was having 29 players in a weekender tournament with a rating of 2000 or above.
I, for one wasn't playing in this spectacular event but instead was a spectator and giving some juniors some coaching.
Round one went to ratings for the top seeds. Easy wins usually means easy games and should be the case for round 2 but unfortunately this didn’t happen at all. In round 2 Karl Zelesco held the interstate player, IM George Xie from NSW to a draw, Carl Gorka winning against IM Stephen Solomon, Malcolm Pyke pressing on to win against former under 12 World Champion FM Bobby Cheng, Jason Tang won against 2010 George Trundle Masters winner IM Guy West and current Australian Junior Champion Alistair Cameron won against Chess Victorian president IM Leonid Sandler. As you can see casualties are happening left right and centre and its only round number 2 of the tournament.
Round 3 was an easy task for the top players who lost in the previous round. Round 4 became a clash of 2 important players. Alistair Cameron v George Xie. Why are these important players you are asking yourself? Cameron the current Australian junior champion and Xie the top seed. The result was Cameron came out as the winner. So after 4 rounds we had Alistair Cameron on a perfect score and playing Domagoj Dragicevic who is also on a perfect as well.
Round 5 there was a game which could be good for a problem solving puzzle on help mates. If you have guessed that I am talking about the Scharrer v Morris game you are correct. James who was playing good in the game just missed a simple move which left him to unstoppable to checkmate. Just with a King move it saved the game and at worst a half point could be agreed upon. Bad luck though.
If you still haven’t had enough of the fun and upsets, let round 6 begin. Stephen Solomon playing the newly elected FM Domagoj Dragicevic, you would naturally think the IM would be the stronger player. On this occasion not only did Dragicevic win, but he won a piece of the experienced Olympiad member as well. The other one was McClymont v Sandler. This was a game of leaning towards one side and ended up on the other side. Leonid was in a winning position before blundering mate. After the game Leonid was disappointed and took a bye in the last round due to illness. This is the first time to my knowledge that he has ever taking a bye in a tournament. I have been told from exclusive sources that Leonid is still recovering from illness.
Round 7 a few more upsets again. McClymont winning against FM Chris Wallis, Xie drawing to Pyke and Justin Tan winning against James Morris. Overall it was hard yacka for the top seeds. The winners of the 46th Ballarat Begonia Open were Dragicevic coming =1st with the visiting Italian FM Patrick Scharrer and Brodie McClymont on 6/7. Well done to everyone who played in the event.