GM Darryl Johansen is the 2009 SIO champion after securing the gold medal thanks to a superior tiebreak. For his numerous fans it is a well-deserved victory especially since, even by his own admission, he doesn't exactly win too many these days. During his speech the Melbourne GM, who celebrated his 50th in February, thanked the officials but also inserted a little shot at the venue. It sometimes left little to be desired, he said.
Well done also to IM George Xie for his first GM norm. After falling short by a half point last week in the Doeberl Cup, this time he made certain of it by actually winning. He needed only a draw. For Xie, the excellent back-to-back performances in both the Doeberl and now the SIO are a big step up from his rather disappointing debut in Australia's Olympiad squad last November. At the rate he's going, Xie could soon become a full GM in two to three years.
And spotted at the venue yesterday afternoon was none other than local legend Lloyd Fell. These days, the old man can barely talk but still manages to navigate the Sydney public transport system by himself all the way from Punchbowl to Parramatta! I watch him from a distance as he shuffles slowly about and I am filled with worry. Sometimes I think that he is about to fall over.
Both IM Gary Lane and myself were busy snapping photos at Lloyd. Here's one I took of both these guys and a couple of portrait style images here and here.
See you all again next year, Caissa willing.