Chess masters in Adelaide for championship
Monday, 8 December 2003
International Grandmasters and other top chess players from Australia and overseas will converge on Adelaide this month to compete in the nation's biggest chess tournament.
The tournament is part of a chess festival being held in Adelaide during December and January.
The festival not only includes the championship as the main event, but also an exhibition match that will see one of the world's best chess players blindfolded while playing five simultaneous games against other players!
The 2003/2004 Lidums Adelaide University Australian Chess Championship will be held at the University of Adelaide from December 29 to January 10.
Members of the public are invited to attend the competition to watch the chess players in battle.
With prizes totalling more than $14,000, the tournament has already drawn two Australian Grandmasters - Australia's top chess player Ian Rogers (the first ever Grandmaster in the South-East Asian region) and Darryl Johansen - and five International Masters, including South Australia's top player, Mark Chapman.
Grandmaster Ian Rogers has not competed in a championship in his home country for the past six years, and this is the first time in more than 20 years that Adelaide has hosted the national championships.
Adelaide won the right to host the biennial championship following the ongoing success of the annual University Open Chess Tournament, organised by members of the University of Adelaide's Chess Club and with support from the SA Chess Association.
The championship will be held at the North Terrace Campus in the Eclipse and other function rooms in the Union Building. Other chess events will also be held around Adelaide before, during and after the championship.
These include the blindfold exhibition by Grandmaster Ian Rogers in Rundle Mall, public events at Glenelg as part of the Bay Sports Festival, and public lectures to be held at the University of Adelaide by Ian Rogers and Darryl Johansen.
"We will have 200 top chess players in the championship, plus reserves and seniors competitions, and we're expecting around 200 spectators from the public to see what all the excitement of competitive chess is about," says George Howard, President of the SA Chess Association and President of the Australian Chess Federation.
"Adelaide is a perfect venue for a chess festival of this nature, and the top players have been so keen to take part that many of them are foregoing lucrative professional games in Europe just for this event," Mr Howard says.
"Chess has many benefits for the public, especially children as it helps to develop their spatial understanding and works the same part of the brain that is involved in music and mathematics. Chess has also proven to help delay the onset of dementia.
"Not only that, but it's enormous fun, as the people of Adelaide will get a chance to see later this month."
President of the SA Chess Association and President of the Australian Chess Federation
Business: 8227 2333
Mobile: 0414 841 575
Chief Tournament Organiser
President, Adelaide University Chess Club
Mobile: 0423 192 278