2021 Leo Wilkinson Memorial Open

This prestigious annual tournament was held at the Grace Lutheran College Rothwell on the 25th and 26th September, 2021. The Leo has been on the Queensland chess tournament agenda for several decades and is played to recognise the significant contribution that the late Leo Wilkinson made to the Redcliffe Chess Club, as well as the wider Queensland chess scene. He was a former CAQ President and long term chess administrator who was champion in promoting chess, especially to the emerging younger generation of players.

The total prize pool on offer was $2,550 with the major sponsors being BBC Painting ( a much valued supporter of chess in Queensland); the Redcliffe Chess Club and the Grace Lutheran College.

The tournament attracted 100 (yes, 100!!!) participants with registrations from five different federations (AUS; NZL; ENG; FIJ and JPN). Organisers were very pleased to see such a strong field assembled, with the top seeds being GM Daniel Fernandez’ IM Brodie McClymont and FM Yi Liu.

In welcoming all to the tournament CAQ President Mark C. Stokes noted the strong contingent of junior players (youngest being just 6); 22 non rated players; 9 young ladies and the older brigade (the oldest being a sprightly 77 years young) making up the largest field that had every contested the Leo.

The tournament was run using Vega (version 8.3.8),with the top 4 boards being televised live at https://livechess.aunz.net. The event’s time control was 60 minutes each plus 20 seconds per move. and was ACF and QJ rated. As well as an Open section, there were five rating groups and a non rated section.

For the statistically minded: the top rated player was 2525 and the average rating (excluding non rated players) was 1151. 573 games were played, with 19 half point byes requested and only 3 players withdrew throughout the tournament. Remarkably, given the number of non rated and new tournament players there was only 1 game lost to two illegal moves.



As indicated, the top boards were televised live and many are worth playing through. From round 1 the tournament was keenly contested with no easy games and many boards played right up to the commencement of the next round. The joint winners played extremely well and of note is the play of Aiden Brady who has acquitted himself extremely well during 2021 and is on the threshold of breaking the 2000 barrier. He could be the dark horse in the upcoming Queensland State Championships.

Byron Morris and Jayden Ooi continue to challenge the top players and will soon be pushing through to the top ranks. Many of the junior players continue to advance their chess playing skills and demonstrated a knowledge of the game well beyond their age. Such is a credit to their coaches and their enthusiasm for the game.

Overall the tournament went extremely well given the need for strict Covid-19 requirements coupled with the large number of participants.

Upcoming events for the next few months up until the end of 2021 are:

30/9 – 4/10 2021 Queensland Championships
1/10 – 4/10 2021 Queensland U1600 Championships
8/10 and 15/10 Marcus Porter Memorial
16/10 Burleigh FIDE rapid
16/ -17/10 Queensland Womens and Girls Championships
23/10 – 24/10 Queensland Seniors Championships
7/11 Chess People rapid
27/11 – 28/11 Bundaberg Championships

Specific details about each of these events is on the CAQ website.

FA Max Kershaw aka The Horace September, 2021.