Australian Chess Championships success at St George Leagues Club

Some of the best minds in Australia are doing battle at the St George Leagues Club.

The Australian Chess Championships attracted nearly 300 participants, including children as young as seven, competing for prize money of more than $14,000.

A Grandmaster from Western Australia, who is the top seed, is among the 21 players in the top tier Championships competition, where $8000 prize money is on offer.

Grandmaster is a title awarded by the world chess organisation and is the highest a player can attain.

St George Leagues Chess Club, which has met continuously for 52 years, is hosting the event, which started on January 2 and concludes on Monday, January 13.

It is the first time the national championships have been held at St George Leagues Club.

The 2018 Australian of the Year, Professor Michelle Simmons OA gave the opening address.

Commentary is being provided by Grandmaster Ian Rogers, a former St George Leagues Chess Club member, Australian number one ranked player for nearly 30 years and four times national champion.

The four tournaments, in which players were placed according to strength, also include Reserves and Classic and the popular Blitz, which is fast chess with each side having five minutes to complete the game.

Sarwat Rewais, president of St George Leagues Chess Club and a member of the organising committee, said the event had been a great success.

Mr Rewais said the leagues club had provided invaluable support by providing the venue at no cost, along with sponsorship.

St George Leagues Chess Club, which has about 70 members, including many juniors, meets every Tuesday at 7.30 pm and new members are welcome