HE’S the king of the chessboard on the northern beaches, and may soon be a world champion.
Last month Max Illingworth, 19, won the prestigious ‘First Saturday Grandmaster Tournament” in Budapest, Hungary, where he beat three Grandmasters and set the platform for him to follow in their footsteps.
By winning the tournament, the Dee Why local earned his first “norm” (one of three requirements to become a Grandmaster).
“I was very happy with the result, obviously,” Mr Illingworth said. “Beating three Grandmasters in a row is very difficult.”
In May the Manly Daily reported that Mr Illingworth had become one of the top 10 chess players in Australia, but since then he has made a few more moves and is ranked fifth in the country on the back of his career-defining win in Hungary.
Mr Illingworth is preparing for two national tournaments and the Queenstown Chess Classic in New Zealand in a bid to become a Grandmaster.
“The Grandmaster title differentiates you from all other players and means you get free entry to tournaments … you can even get paid to play,” he said.
*NSW Open Chess Championship 2011 (June)
*NSW State Chess Championship 2011 (May-July)
*First Saturday Grandmaster Tournament (September)