The 2012 WA State Championship was held as a closed event and played on Sundays, from the 15th of July to the 16th of September at Moresby Street Centre in Kensington.
The Moresby Street Hall was, once again, the venue for the WA Closed. Of the 10 players, Dave Dempster qualified by winning the 2011 Qualifying tournament, George Carolin-Unkovich qualified from the WA Open, and Thomas Pinnock won the WA Junior Championship. Everybody else qualified by their rating. In the case of Allan Beveridge (ex-Scotland), we used his FIDE rating.
With Tristan Boyd, Stephanus Kurniawan, Michael Horstmann and Tim Hare all unable to play this year, Yita Choong was strongly favoured to repeat his winning performance from last year.
Two of the features of the tournament were the large number of draws and the large number of postponements, We ended up finishing nearly two weeks late. The person who suffered most from game delays was Allan Beveridge. It seemed that whenever someone was sick, or had other commitments, they were playing Allan, and he ended up having to play 6 games away from the venue. I have just noticed that he drew every postponed game, and won every game played at Moresby Street. Interesting!
Although there was a bit of a four way battle for the lead, Yita gradually pulled away from the field and was a convincing winner in the end. His play was solid and no one could claim that he was not a deserving winner.
My play was somewhat lack-lustre and I never thought that I would win enough games to win. However, I am hoping that it will prove to be a good base for 2013. Allan Beveridge was a bit of a dark horse, but we were in no doubt that he would provide stiff competition for us. Marc Vlietstra probably tried hardest to take the title from Yita Ė sometimes, it worked, and, sometimes, it didnít! Because of his determination, I was quite often waiting for Marcís game to finish, so we could pack up and leave.
After losing his first 3 games in a wretched start, John Fedec recovered to finish on 50%. Akef Saleh was not at his best, but he was playing under duress.
I made a bit of a mis-calculation when working out the entry fees. Even though the entry fee was a high $110, there was not enough money left over for any decent prizes, so I had to kick in about $400. We will be making some changes next year to ensure that this does not happen again.
Report by Haydn Barber
|| Yita Choong
|| Haydn Barber
|| Alan Beveridge
|3||Alan Beveridge (UK)||Unr||2100||=||=||=||=||1||=||=||1||1||6.0|
|5||Akef Saleh (INA)||2018||1946||=||0||=||0||=||=||1||=||=||4.0|
The second attempt at running the WA Qualifying alongside the WA Closed proved just as unpopular as the first. This did not bother me too much, as we all knew that though such long tournaments are favoured by the strong players, they are not popular with everyone else. However, in our efforts to cater to the desires of our members, we are going to make some major changes for next year. These changes should also cut costs considerably.
With seven players, the tournament was run as a round-robin, each player receiving a bye. Though small, it promised some interesting Chess, as the rating range was smaller than usual. It soon became a battle between three players: Peter de Yaak, Natalie Maris and Chirag Saroha.
Natalie Maris was always in the lead. She had wins against Peter and Chirag in the first two rounds and this set her up nicely for a tournament victory. Only a loss to evergreen Nedeljko Tomic complicated matters somewhat, and meant that the winner of the last round game between Chirag and Peter would join her as joint winners.
Peter de Yaak was the top seed, and had some good form behind him. However, in his game with Natalie Maris, he mishandled the opening and never looked like getting out of trouble. He did win all of his remaining games, but this loss came back to hurt him again when we had to resort to a tie-break to determine the automatic qualifying place for the 2013 WA Closed Championship.
Chirag Sarohaís rating is a bit of a joke. As far as I am aware, this is because most of his Chess at adult level has been played in India, when he goes home to visit his family. Certainly, he should gain a bunch of rating points from this result. Though he won 4 games, he was just unable to get the better of the top two.
This tournament had a bit of a split personality. The highest place player rated under 1850 would become the winner of the 2012 WA Reserves title, and the overall winner would qualify for the 2013 WA Closed. Since Peter was rated over 1850, Natalie Maris has become the 2012 WA Reserves Champion. We used a count-back to determine the overall winner, and this favoured Natalie again.
Report by Haydn Barber.
Peter de Yaak
|4||Peter de Yaak||1862||0||1||1||1||1||1||5.0|