Tasmanian (Classical) Championship


The first Tasmanian Chess Championship commenced 1924 and, excepting 1939 to 1947 inclusive, has been held annually ever since.  During the war period a single match was held in 1943 and two matches were held in 1944.

The format of the championship has changed over the years depending on numbers and time.  The competition began as a round robin, and continued in that vein until 1937; with the exception of 1926 which was decided by a match.  From 1938 to 1947 the championship was decided by a match, until more participation saw the championship change back to a round robin.  Between 1948 and 1965 the round robin championship consisted of anywhere between 3 and 8 players.  In 1966 numbers swelled so much that the open swiss pairing system was implemented for the first time.   The swiss system was used breifly.

In 1970 the field was split into two divisions with eight-player round robins deciding the top division, this continued until 1983; with the exception of 1978 where the top division was a swiss, and 1981 when the entire field was paired using the swiss system.  From 1984 onwards the championship has employed the swiss pairing system, apart from 1989 which was a round robin due to a small field.

The contemporary championships have normally consisted of six or seven rounds though there have been occasions or more or less.  In 1994 the competion was a five round swiss, and in 2001 an eight round swiss.  In 2004 the TCA set the event as seven rounds for titles from 2005 onwards but agreed to vary this for 2006, when six rounds were held.

The last playoff was held in 1956, since then several ties have occurred with joint titles and prizes being awarded. Ties were seen in 1974, 83 (three-way), 89, 93, 2007, 09 (three-way), and 2015.


Tasmanian Women's Championship

(formerly Tasmanian Ladies' Chess Championship)

Inaugurated 1961 as a separate tournament. Held intermittently until 1986 (not held seven times during this period). A private event claimed to be this tournament was held during 1987 but the TCA had abolished the title. A motion to overturn the abolition was passed in 1995 but it took until 2006 for plans to be made to actually award the title again. The title is now awarded to the top scoring eligible female in the Tasmanian Championships provided at least two females (including female juniors) compete. The 2007 Womens Champion was Janice Martin (who was also clearly the strongest active female player in the state for the previous 11 years). In 2008 and 2009 Nina Horton claimed the title, it has not been awarded since.


Facts and Figures

Largest field: 32, Hobart, 2007

Most frequent winners:

  • Otto Weber (13 between 1953 and 1968)
  • Tony Dowden (6 including 2 shared, 2006-12)
  • Edwin Ingledew (5, 1924-30)
  • Oscar Henry Vince (5,1936-49)
  • Arthur Melville Tregear (4, 1928-34)
  • S James Henri (4, 1975-1979)
  • Adrian Flitney (4 including 1 shared, 1981-87)
  • Kevin Bonham (4 including 1 shared, 2001-15)

Most wins in a row: Otto Weber (6, 1953-58)

Youngest winner: Bradley Stansfield (16, 1993 - shared title)

Youngest outright winner of title: Ben Fearnley-Sander (17, 1990 - tied for first in tournament with ineligible player)

Oldest winner: Frank Phillips (72, 1974 - shared title)

Picket fences (excluding matches):

  • Edwin Ingledew (1924, 1930)
  • A M Tregear (1928, 1934)
  • T D Fillan (1933)
  • Ludwig Bokay (1951)
  • Otto Weber (1953,54,55,60,66,67)
  • Tadeusz Grocki (1963)
  • Alija Premilovac (1995)
  • Pavel Sakov (1999)
  • Kevin Bonham (2002)

Winning tournament for title outright despite losing a game:

  • Edwin Ingledew 1927
  • A.M. Tregear 1929 and 1932
  • O.H. Vince 1936
  • Otto Weber 1968
  • Adrian Flitney 1981
  • Mike Stubbs 1998
  • Kevin Bonham 2001

Biggest winning margin:  Colin Cloudsdale 1972 6.5/7 won a round robin by 2.5 points

Ineligible players have tied for first four times with the title going to the player they tied with.  The only ineligible players to come outright first were:

  • FM Lim Yee Weng (2004, Charles Chadwick thus claiming the title by finishing outright second), and
  • FM Vladimir Smirnov (2009, three-way tie for second determined title).

Title won on first eligible attempt:

  • Edwin Ingledew 1924
  • Frank Phillips 1943 (match)
  • Alan Willison 1944 (match)
  • Ludwig Bokay 1951
  • Otto Weber 1953
  • John Welsh 1988
  • Pavel Sakov 1996
  • Tim Anderson 1997 (had previously tied for first as an ineligible player)
  • Tony Dowden 2006
  • Toby Straton 2018

Most attempts before winning title: Nigel Frame 2004 won on his 12th attempt

Most starts: Neville Ledger (35)

Championship - Open double

  • S. J. Henri 1976 (tied for Open)
  • Adrian Flitney 1983 (tied for both)
  • Simon Browne 1993 (tied for Open)
  • Tony Dowden 2007 (tied for both)
  • Alastair Dyer 2009 (tied for both) and 2010 (tied for Open)
  • Ian Rout 2015 (tied for Championships)

No player has yet won both events outright in the same calendar year.

Championship - Lightning double

  • S. J. Henri 1975 (tied for Lightning), 76, 79
  • Adrian Flitney 1981
  • Peter Wagg 1983 (tied for Champs)
  • Tony Dowden 2006, 2007 (tied for Champs), 2008, 2009 (tied for Champs)
  • Alastair Dyer 2010
  • Tony Dowden 2012 (tied for Lightning)
  • Nigel Frame* (Lightning 2004, Champs 2005)
  • Kevin Bonham* (Lightning 2013, Champs 2014)

*held both titles at the same time but not in the same calendar year.