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Gaspari Memorial: Srečo Čamernik shocked them all

A thriller that ended in sensation – the surprise winner of 16th Ljubljana Open is Srečo Čamernik 2k, who captured this traditional tournament with four wins out of five rounds, edging four other players with the same final MacMahon score thanks to superior SOS and SODOS criteria. Exciting, drawn-out tournaments seem to be the norm in Slovenia these days: SOS points already decided top-three places at this year’s Maribor Open, and the same thing happened in recently finished National Championship. In this respect, the tournament was extra-drawn-out, but Čamernik’s win was well deserved, since he also beaten the second-placed Gregor Butala 4d and Ruben Belina 1d, who finished third.

Čamernik’s triumph also set a historical landmark: namely, this was the first time that this traditional tournament, who is nowadays held as a memorial to late Peter Gaspari, was won by a kyu player. Čamernik took good advantage of the fact that this is a handicap tournament, but he also showed that he knows how to use his recent great form – he had also done well in Ljubljana Oza, where he scored some big wins and reached the play-off. Of course, this is the first tournament he won and his biggest success so far; he promptly received 1k rank after his great achievement.

Nevertheless, the field of 18 players from Slovenia and Italy provided some great games and apart from the top duels, it was interesting to see various match-ups in the lower ranks, which were well represented. It is worth to mention Maja Logar and Miha Zaletel, who successfully made their debut in official competitions.


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