The first weekend classical tournaments for 2024 at the Swieqi Chess Club were held between 26 and 28 January. Big thanks goes to National Arbiter (NA) Robert Novak who managed to run the event smoothly.
The novelty for this weekend event was that two events were held in parallel, one for junior newcomers to classical chess and the usual open event.
The newcomers event proved to be a success with 10 players playing, out of which 6 were playing their first classical event. The event was won with a perfect score by Leo Lin, who was also the only FIDE rated played (ELO 1242). Second and Third by tie-break were Miguel Ahmad Costa and Julian Spiteri. See photos of winners below. Joint second but placing fourth and fifth due to unfavourable tie-breaks were Samuel Spiteri and Wayne Vella. Good to mention that Samuel played four games, but with one less game and at his first classical tournament finished joint second. Also worth mentioning all other participants who took this important step in their chess career: John Refalo, Taisiya Pace, Ozgun Ozsoy, Paul Aquilina, and Thomas Zapacioiu.
Due to the newcomers event, the Open tournament was much stronger with no easy game. This resulted in a weekend full of fighting games, with all games being transmitted online, allowing family, friends and other chess followers to watch the games live.
The tournament was won by CM Colin Pace, who won the event with full points, but had a number of tough games albeit the difference in rating with his opponents.
Second and third place were taken, based on tie-breaks, by Utku Deniz Demir and by Ian Refalo respectively, on 3.5 points. Kenny Fong placed joint second but overall fourth due to tie-breaks.
Other prizes included, Best Female going to Filipina Thornton, Best Junior won by Gabriel Gauci, and Best Unrated player going to Alexander Ariel Padron Gonzalez.
All results can be viewed at:
1st Place: Colin Pace
2nd Place: Utku Deniz Demir
3rd Place: Ian Refalo
Best Female: Filipina Thornton
Best Junior: Gabriel Gauci
Best Unrated: Alexander Padron Gonzalez