Here are a few photos of the Australian Open that I took on Thursday. I apologise for some of the bad shots because they had to be taken without using the flash and although the lighting in the playing hall was good, it was not sufficient for my small little camera to take photographs.
I am most impressed by the professionalism and the way the competition has been organised.
Everything was near flawless and was running extremely smoothly. Live games were constantly put up on the website with the gamescores collected (including those in the U1600 event) and entered manually into the computer and uploaded everyday to the website (The official website for the Australian Open is here).
No Monrois are in use here, people. When you consider that nearly 1,100 games have been uploaded manually so far since the start of the tournament a week ago, this is no easy task. Making sure that the game scores were correct, checking and counter-checking the results, ensuring the next game schedule have been printed and put up promptly is a monumental task.
They also had to check that the DGT boards for the top 3 boards were functional before the start of each round so that it can be viewed live on the web as well. The tables for the games were also spaciously arranged with a good amount of walking space. They were also thoughtful enough to have a cordon barrier put up to separate the U1600 section and the Australian Open.
Players do not have to look far for refreshments as well.
There is also a small back room for players to conduct post-mortem analysis, away from the playing hall without posing any disturbance to the players. Clearly a lot of thought has gone into organising this tournament.
The organising committee comprising Fred Schuetz, Norman Greenwood, Martin van Elmpt and Jonathan Adams have no doubt worked tirelessly and I've nothing but high praises for the way this tournament has been run and I applaud them for their hard work without which this tournament would not have been such a success.
Everything has so far run like clockwork. I cannot imagine the amount of hard work, stress that they had to undergo to organise a national tournament like this. 3 weeks ago, the tournament were in the red to the tune of some $10,000 (gulp!) and they must have a lot of sleepless nights over this but thankfully, as more players took part, I'm happy to learn that they have managed to make the tournament pay for itself and a bit more.