Tony Sturges Memorial - Small Crowd, BIG Fun


The 3rd Annual Tony Sturges Memorial raised $240 for the TCA and was a fun success despite lower numbers.

With ANZAC day at the end of the school holidays this year, the event attracted fewer juniors and the 7 round Swiss was contracted into a 7 round RR with 1 bye.  This made the competition even more interesting as not everyone played the same openings. Depending on when you had the bye you missed out on a particular position.

In the end Kevin Bonham took out the event with a picket fence performance.  Eric Rayner was second on 4 from 6 with Ian Little 3rd on 3.5.

The event attracted a few spectators through the day with several people popping in to see how things were going, unfortunately we couldn't convince them to stay for the Blitz tournament.


Round 1

The Exchange Spanish

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6

Round 1 was an Exchange Spanish and it was clear from the start who knew their theory / had done their homework and who hadn't. Ian Little was the first to miss out with the bye and the rest of the games went the way of experience / rating. 


Round 2

The 2 Knights with Ng5

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5

Round 2 stuck to the e4 e5 openings with an aggressive line of the 2 knights. From the position the game could go into the junior popular Fried Liver Attack, or stay in clearer waters. Eric Rayner claimed a victory over David Rolph with both he and Kevin leading into round 3.


Round 3

The Noteboom

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 e6 4.Nf3 dxc4

Round 3 delved into the d4 openings with The Noteboom. Topical Noteboom theory was not really anywhere to be seen as most players found themselves in unfamiliar territory right from the first moves. Ian Little managed to hold David Rolph to a draw while Kevin Bonham snatched victory with a rook and pawn mate in the dying seconds.


Round 4

The Benko Gambit

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5 4.cxb5 a6

Round 4 stuck to the d4 openings with the Benko Gambit making an appearance. With a fear of this opening similar to Kasparov's, no one played 5.bxa6. Instead other modes of play used including b6 and e3. David Rolph took a tactical bye in this round to get some lunch. Samwise Inskip recorded a nice victory over Ian Little after several time pressure mistakes from both players.


Round 5

The Reverse Dragon

1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5

Round 5 saw a c4 opening in the Reverse Dragon. This opening played into resident English opener and tournament leader Kevin Bonham's hands as he scored a convincing win over Ian Little after some nice tactical shots left him many pawns ahead. William Rumley scored a nice upset victory over David Rolph while Eric Rayner pushed out further with a win over Samwise Inskip.

Round 6 - The Players Choice Round

The Scandinavian

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6

An overwhelming victory went to the Scandinavian defence as the players choice for Round 6

  • Option 1 - The Caro-Kann (Classical)   2 votes
  • Option 2 - The Scandinavian  21 votes
  • Option 3 - The French Rubinstein  2 votes
  • Option 4 - The Sicilian Accelerated Dragon 2 votes

The players choice round voting was dominated by 1 very enthusiastic person who voted around 15 times in the space of several minutes. While this may have skewed the results a little, we're glad someone took that level of interest in the voting!

Round 7 - The Random Round

The King's Indian Defence

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6

After the players choice round there was the traditional "Random Round" and by virtue of pulling a piece of paper out of a hat possibility 1, The KID, was selected.

  • Possibility 1 - The King's Indian Defence
  • Possibility 2 - The Sicilian Kan
  • Possibility 3 - The Queen's Gambit Accepted
  • Possibility 4 - The Symmetrical Reti
  • Possibility 5 -  The Spanish Berlin

Upon finding out the position for the random round Kevin Bonham, who was already assured of outright victory, commented something akin to "er yuck, I'm glad I don't have to play any of that nonsense". In light of this news I think next year's memorial will be a KID thematic, exploring all the wonders of the many King's Indian Defence variations. No, that's mean, we wouldn't do that... would we?

Let us know your preferences for the positions of next year's tournament in the comments below.


As always we finished the Memorial tournament with an evening Blitz tournament. 3+2 was the order of the night and once again it was a round robin with 1 bye.

In the end Kevin Bonham and Ian Little claimed joint victory, but heading into the last round there were 4 potential winners. Ian played David Rolph, while Kevin played William Rumley, with all 4 players on 4 points. David and Ian once again met in a Sicilian Dragon, but David's Fischer like sac-sac-mate plan didn't get there on this occasion. Kevin and Will arrived at a rook and pawn endgame which may have been a technical draw with best play and more than 1 minute on the clock. But, with time ticking away Kevin outplayed Will to take home the win.

The unfortunate "leaving at home of a vital camera part" meant the games weren't recorded, but we'll get them next time!