In 2013 Stephen Solomon predicted that Brodie McClymont would be a future Australian Olympic player but at the time that was considered Queensland parochialism, since McClymont had hardly won a tournament outside his native State.
However the tournament wins in Queensland kept piling up for McClymont and in July he achieved a major breakthrough by tying for first place at the Oceania Zonal in Sydney, thereby earning his International Master title.
In that event McClymont was seeded 15th yet knocked over the top two seeds, Moulthun Ly and Max Illingworth in the final two rounds. (Illingworth ultimately won a playoff and represented Australia at the recent Baku World Cup.)
With his freshly minted IM title, McClymont was part of a large Australian delegation taking part in last month’s Malaysian Open.
Seeded 43rd on his international debut, McClymont performed above his ranking but a last round loss cost him a place in the top ten.
However a fortnight later McClymont added another title to his Queensland collection by winning the Queensland Championship, once again ahead of Olympian Ly.
The key game of the tournament, McClymont’s ‘Game of the Year’ win over Ly given below, involved a stunning piece of opening preparation of Grandmaster quality – yet 23-year-old McClymont has played only one Grandmaster, Melbourne’s Darryl Johansen, in his entire career.
Domestic success without comparable international opportunities has left McClymont in the unusual situation of being ranked among the top dozen in Australia on the local ranking list, while languishing far lower on the world body FIDE’s list of Australian players.
Finally this week, thanks to his Queensland Championship and Malaysian Open results, McClymont’s FIDE rating started to catch up with his true strength, climbing into the top 20 Australians for the first time.
With only three other IMs in Queensland – players that McClymont already beats consistently – it has always been difficult to know how far McClymont can improve his game without travelling.
Robert Jamieson, Australia’s top player in the 1970s, rarely competed internationally and yet rose above his environment, taking Australian chess to new levels. McClymont will be hoping to do the same.
Gold Coast QLD Ch. 2015
Opening: Siclian Defence
November 2015 FIDE Ratings
Australian Top 20
1.Zhao Zong Yuan(N) 2546;
=12.Ikeda(ACT), Wallace(N) 2390;