On Monday, 28 January, the first round of the Preliminaries was scheduled to start at 6:30pm but an overwhelming interest in the last moments took the organizers by surprise.
The good news for Hong Kong chess was obviously that more people had come than expected (read: timely registered), whereas the bad news was that allowing all these people to join would exceed the Fire Ordinance maximum.
Next time, register timely so the organizers can look into sourcing additional locations in time.
With 49 players then, round 1 started at 7pm, with some noteworthy bits and pieces:
- With Javier Martin Perez from Spain we have another Fide Master participating …
- Youth player Benjamin Oh defeated 1963 Fide rated Sigappi Kannappan
- Hysan Wong held a draw against Candidate Master Chak Man Chan
- Caissa’s pride, Peter Whalley, caused another casualty at master level by drawing against Fide Master Brian Dew who with a Fide rating of 2226 is the highest rated participant
- Caissa’s female pride Hannah Ball won her game against Brian Wong convincingly
- ‘Almost-Caissa member’ from Discovery Bay, Jean-Sebastien Bret, could not hold the game against the typical Chor Yuen Chong style of gradually accumulating small advantages
- Caissa’s David Garceran Nieuwenburg won against Jefferson Lee in a hard-fought Sokolsky in which Jefferson lost a piece in the endgame by exchanging rooks in the wrong order
After round 1 the ranking is as follows: