KILLARA local and 11-year-old chess phenomenon Anton Smirnov carried a weight of expectation into his home tournament this week – but his small shoulders were up to the task.
More than 170 brilliant young chess minds from around the country have gathered for Australia’s premier chess tournament at Norths Leagues Club in Cammeray from January 2-13 for the crowning of the Australian Open chess champion.
One of a number of talented local hopes, Smirnov entered the tournament as the world’s highest ranked player to be born after 2000.
The son of International Master Vladimir Smirnov said he still gets nervous but “only against stronger opponents”.
Fresh off a win at the Australasian Masters Tournament in Melbourne, in which he defeated higher ranked players including his father, Anton said he had not played his best chess this week.
“I didn’t really play that well so far,” Anton said.