By Ian Rogers
Over the past two years Brodie McClymont has become the supreme figure on the Queensland tournament circuit.
In that time the 22-year-old from Brisbane has won more than a dozen Queensland Grand Prix tournaments, frequently overcoming higher ranked current and former Olympians Solomon, Ly and Wohl on his way to victory.
After one defeat in 2013, Stephen Solomon opined that McClymont was already a top 10 player in Australia, and indeed McClymont went on to win the 2013 Grand Prix title on the back of his multiple Queensland open tournament victories.
However, one Australian Junior Masters title in Adelaide apart, McClymont has failed to convince on the road and his result at the Australian Championships in Melbourne in January was severely disappointing.
Despite his dominance locally, one major Queensland title had eluded McClymont – the State’s most important GP tournament, the Gold Coast Open.
In its first 21 years the Gold Coast Open had established a remarkable record; only Grandmasters or International Masters had ever taken the title.
However in 2014, McClymont finally destroyed that record.
In a field of 111 players at Carrara last weekend, McClymont was seeded only seventh, below six titled players.
A hard-fought 75-move win by McClymont over 5-time GC Open winner Solomon in the third round was convincing enough, but only when McClymont knocked over visiting Melbourne International Master James Morris two rounds later did it become clear that the $1,500 first prize was destined to stay in Queensland.
The concept of a home-ground advantage has rarely found much support in the chess world; indeed Viswanathan Anand was considered by many to be disadvantaged to have to defend his 2013 world title defence in his home town of Chennai.
No doubt McClymont feels more comfortable at home; no doubt he has worked out the other top Queensland players well; no doubt McClymont’s incredible success in Queensland, would indicate that for some players, there’s no place like home. Yet it is hard to get past Solomon’s opinion – the 2014 Gold Coast Open Champion is simply a very strong player.
Gold Coast Open 2014
22nd Gold Coast Open 2014
Leading final scores
1. McClymont (Q) 5/6;
=2. Izzat (Aze), Ly (Q), Jones (Wls), Morris (V) 4.5