The first of two teams challenge events this year took place today at the Ryde-Eastwood Leagues club. As expected, this format turned out to be very popular. Some 100 players, forming 25 teams, participated in the tournament. NSWCA president Bill Gletsos informed me that the number is higher than last year's.
The top seeds were the Koala team who came packing with no less than 3 titled players: IM Gary Lane, FIDE masters Lee Jones and Brian Jones, and Ben Harris. Based on the players' rapid rating, Ben actually held the 3rd board while Brian was posted to fourth.
Second seed were the defending champs Sydney University 1. The students were bannered by Tomek Rej followed by Jason Chan, Jason Hu and, on fourth board, the unknown Kenneth Chik. As early as round 2, Sydney Uni's board 1 had a little accident when he allowed himself to be checkmated by Vincent Suttor.
The remaining top teams, in seeding order, were Team Maybe, my team Parramatta A, and the Max Sac Hackers who featured NSW state champ Andrew Bird
As I had to leave early, we'll have to wait for the final results from the NSWCA. But as far as my own play is concerned, I was not too disappointed - scoring wins against FM Brian Jones and the dangerous junior Max Illingworth. I finished today on 5.5/7 points.
The NSWCA deserves a huge pat on the back for having organised this event. It is popular amongst Sydney chessers and draws out players who are usually inactive. For instance, Angelito Camer came to play for our board 1. And the team aspect is a shift from the usual weekenders were all that matters is your own individual result.
I am already looking forward to the next teams event in August. See you there!