Anton Smirnov and James Morris share top spot
This year's tournament, the 52nd, had a fantastic entry of 138 players, a mix of regulars,
many of whom have been coming for decades, and new players, many of whom will no
doubt become regulars. As usual, it was a strong event, with 10 FIDE titled players (4 GMs,
3 IMs, 3 FMs) competing, headed by defending Champions GM Anton Smirnov, GM Zhong
Yuan Zhao, IM James Morris, and IM Stephen Solomon.
The Begonia tournament began its life as the simple idea of giving local players the opportunity to compete against strong outside players, and this year no less than 20 Ballarat
Chess Club members entered the event, as well as 6 past members! A fantastic vindication
of the original idea.
The tournament was won by defending Champions Anton Smirnov (his 2nd title) and James
Morris (his 4th title) with 6 points. 6 others scored 5.5 points, GMs Zhao and Moulthun Ly,
FMs Jack Puccini and Christopher Wallis, and John Nemeth and overseas entry Philip
Best scores for the local players were Club Champion Heath Gooch, Bas van Riel, Harrison
Harrison and Patrick Cook all with 4 points.
All in all, the tournament was another great success for Ballarat Chess Club, and we look
forward to another exciting tournament in 2019.