Best in the West

GM Hrant Melkumyan from Armenia won the 2013 Hobsons Bay Best in the West with a perfect score of 5/5.
Results:
The majors winners:

1st: $1000 - Hrant Melkumyan
2nd: $500 - Christopher Wallis
=3rd & 4th: - Shared $350 James Morris, Bobby Cheng, Max Illingworth, Ari Dale, Dean Hogg, Gregory Canfell, Zachary Loh, Dusan Stojic, Bill Jordan

Above includes Top Juniors: - Shared - $300 Bobby, Ari, Zachary

Rating Group 1: 1st: $200 - Max Chew-Lee
Rating Group 2: =1st: Shared $200 - Alanna Chew-Lee, Rebecca Strickland

Biggest upset prize: $100 - Rembrandt Soler

Press release on Chesschat from organiser Tony Davis of Hobson's Bay Chess Club:
Over the weekend of 31 August & 1st September the annual ‘Best in the West’ chess tournament took place at the Louis Joel Community Centre, Altona. This event brought together 87 of Australia’s best senior and junior chess players as well as visiting Grandmaster and eventual winner, Hrant Melkumyan from Armenia.

Competitors battled each other for mental supremacy over 5 arduous rounds or approximately 15 hours of deep thought. Prizes were awarded to those who took the top 4 places and to those achieving a result well in excess of their ranking. Games were transmitted live across the internet and discussed at length on chat forums. This was, after all, the strongest and largest chess tournament ever held in Melbourne’s Western Suburbs!

Hobsons Bay Chess Club President Steven Hogan and Treasurer Mark Salanowski were both pleased with the professionalism, sportsmanship and fighting spirit on display. Perfect playing conditions, the weather and support from local eateries along Pier St all helped add to an exciting atmosphere.

Chief organizer and junior coach Tony Davis said that 8 out of the top 30 players in Australia were competing. Top juniors taking part included Bobby Cheng, who at the beginning of 2013 as a 15 year old, became the youngest ever Australian Champion and Anton Smirnov, who is currently the highest ranked U/12 chess player in the world.

Generous sponsorship from Bendigo Bank helped cover the venue hire and upped the prize money from previous years. According to Altona Branch manager John Dawson, this support is set to continue. He witnessed first hand players from different age groups and backgrounds competing on the same level with plenty of family support. Chess is undergoing a boom in Australia through the coaching of school children from a very young age. Concentration, planning and pattern recognition are important concepts learned from the game and are skills that are transferable to other areas of a child’s education.

The ‘Best in the West’ was first held in 1982 and is part of the Australian Chess Grand Prix.
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