49th Begonia Open 2015

Kanan Izzat: Historic Picket Fence 7/7

This year’s event attracted a smaller field than usual, with 96 players competing for the Kevin Perrin trophy at the splendid Sewell Pavilion of Ballarat and Clarendon College. However, this was more than compensated for by the largest entry by Ballarat Chess Club members for many years, with 13 competitors from the Club participating. In addition, 3 of our juniors, Sasha Jacobs, Sean Macak, and Yuri Hoashi, took part in the Chess Kids workshop and rapid play tournament held alongside the main event.

As usual, the top seeds were some of the best players in Australia and included no less than 6 previous winners of the event: defending Champions I.M. Kanan Izzat (Azerbaijan) and F.M. Christopher Wallis (Vic.), as well as 2 time winner I.M. James Morris (Vic.), 5 time winner I.M. Stephen Solomon (Qld.), F.M. Dusan Stojic (Vic.), and many times Country Victorian Champion Stewart Booth.

While the local players were not in the running for the top prizes, we were still privileged to witness the powerful performance of 19 year old Azeri Kanan Izzat who created local chess history by winning all 7 of his games, the only time in the tournaments long history that this has been achieved. Second place went to James Morris with 6/7, while Stephen Solomon and young I.M. Ari Dale (Vic.) shared third place on 5.5/7.

Several local players scored well to share in some of the prize money: Patrick Cook, Robert Bailey, and Harrison Harrison with 4/7 gained a share of second place in rating group ‘B’, while Jamie Brotheridge and Michael Tausz on 3.5/7 received prizes in recognition of their efforts. The tournament can be judged a success, and planning is already under way for a major celebration in 2016 of 50 years of Ballarat “Begonia” chess tournaments!