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Awards Night 2022

It's that time of year again when we celebrate our successes and get ready to dream big for the New Year. On Wednesday, Nov 23rd, thirty club members and their guests attended our GCCC Awards night at the Nerang RSL. In special attendance were CAQ President, Doug Williams and CAQ Junior Development Officer, Shaun Curtis. There were 9 awards presented this year as well as recognition of the Club Title holders for 2022. Chess trivia and dad jokes were shared by the night's MC, Matt Smith to keep the night interesting. Boards were set up around the dinning hall too and several great games were had over a frosty pint on the night.


Congratulations to our Club Title Holders for 2022


Award Winners

Greatest Upset Junior - Kotaro Inukai +536 Greatest Upset Adult - Christian Barkley +630

Biggest Improver Junior - Aarav Rawlley +406

Biggest Improver Adult - Mars Qi +547

Player's Choice - Charisma Award - Orsen Van der Byl

Player's Choice - Rookie of the Year - Ben Skinner
















Orsen - Mr Charisma Ben - Rookie of the Year


The Game of the Year award was determined by a committee of experts from nominated classical games played at the Gold Coast Chess Club in 2022. Mars Qi won the award for his game with Benjamin Leong in Coomera's King of the Mountain event.


Game of the Year Award - Mars Qi v Benjamin Leong


Mars was asked a few questions regarding his great year of chess and his training philosophy.

Q – What’s your training philosophy? Mars: (1)Play more tournament games Tournament games are very different from the practice games (2)Learn from your mistakes Always analyse the game by yourself first and then ask your coach / engine (3)Spend more time on Endgame / Middle game. Don’t spend too much time on opening. Q - What gave you the biggest increase in ability? Mars: My goal :become a FIDE title player - So I worked very hard toward my goal (I practiced at least 2-3 hours everyday)


Two major awards were presented, the Harris Leadership Award to Dea Koch and a Life Membership Award to David Esmonde. The Harris Leadership Award, named in honour of past president and Life Member Bruce Harris, is awarded to a club volunteer that demonstrates exceptional leadership, initiative and passion. The award is not annual and will only be presented when merited. Dea list of involvement this year is impressive, most notably organising and managing the Upper Coomera club night and creating a junior club as well.


2022 Harris Leadership Award - Dea Koch with CAQ President Doug Williams and Club President Matt Smith


Life Membership Award - David Esmonde

For his dedication and involvement in Gold Coast Chess for more than 30 years, David, is awarded Life Membership. David was the GCCCs President in 1991 and served on the committee for several years in various rolls. In the early days on the Gold Coast, David worked hand in hand with Graeme Gardiner and Bruce Harris encouraging scholastic chess and organising the coast's events. He has been recognised as well for his creative ideas in coaching and developing chess in Queensland and at our club. David has shared his IT skills holding CAQ offices and assisted the ACF over the years as well. Recently he has become a FIDE Arbiter and been present streaming DGT games at most Queensland events to improve the quality of chess for us all. David was presented with his award at the QLD Teams Championship on Saturday, Nov 26th before heading to Cairns to deliver the Australian Schools Team Championships. He joins a select group of Life Members, Graeme Gardiner, Nell Van de Graff and Bruce Harris.


Life Member - David Esmonde along with Award winners Christian, Mars and Kotaro


Congratulations to all award winners in 2022. May the New Year bring us all many more glorious victories and wonderful games.

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