Thursday, 26 April 2012

Experiencing 'The Land Down Under'

Another new country has been explored again, Australia!

About Australia

Australia is an island continent and the world's sixth largest country (7,682,300 sq km) after Russia, Canada, China, the United States of America and Brazil.. Lying between the Indian and Pacific oceans, the country is approximately 4,000 km from east to west and 3,200 km from north to south, with a coastline 36,735 km long or 10° and 39° South latitude. No wonder it's called The Land Down Under.

Australia is an independent Western democracy with a population of more than 22 million. It is one of the world’s most urbanised countries that makes Australian culture is as broad and varied as the country's landscape. Australia is multicultural and multiracial and this is reflected in the country's food, lifestyle and cultural practices and experience. Hmm.. thinking of moving? :)

Australia’s formal name is the Commonwealth of Australia. The form of government used in Australia is a constitutional monarchy – ‘constitutional’ because the powers and procedures of the Australian Government are defined by a written constitution, and ‘monarchy’ because Australia’s head of state is Queen Elizabeth II. The Commonwealth of Australia was formed in 1901 when six independent British colonies agreed to join together and become states of a new nation.

Australia has a developed modern market economy and has had one of the most outstanding economies of the world in recent years with high-growth, low-inflation and  low interest rates. Australia has enjoyed a high standard of living since the nineteenth century and is a major exporter of agricultural products, particularly wheat and wool, minerals such as iron-ore and gold, and energy in the forms of liquified natural gas and coal. It has made a comparatively large investment in social infrastructure, including education, training, health and transport. According to the Reserve Bank of Australia, Australian per capita GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth is higher than that of New Zealand, US, Canada and The Netherlands.  The past performance of the Australian economy has been heavily influenced by US, Japanese and Chinese economic growth.


Australia's first inhabitants, the Aboriginal people, are believed to have migrated from some unknown point in Asia to Australia between 50,000 and 60,000 years ago. While Captain James Cook is credited with Australia's European discovery in 1770, a Portuguese possibly first sighted the country, while the Dutch are known to have explored the coastal regions in the 1640s.

The first European settlement of Australia was in January 1788, when the First Fleet sailed into Botany Bay under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip. Originally established as a penal colony, by the 1830s the number of free settlers was increasing. Transportation of convicts to the eastern colonies was abolished in 1852 and to the western colonies in 1868.


The 50th Doeberl Cup and Sydney International Open 2012

The Doeberl Cup has been held every year over Easter since 1963 and is the longest running weekend chess event in Australia. The tournament runs in 4 sections, with the top section known as the Doeberl Cup Premier. The Doeberl Cup was named after its primary sponsor, Erich Doeberl, and although it is no longer sponsored by his family, the name is still used to describe the tournament. The Doeberl Cup this year has won by GM Horvath Adam (2487) from Hungary with 7 points, tied first with 3 others: GM Szabo Gergely-Andras-Gyula (2553) from Romania, GM Vajda Levente (2597) from Hungary, and IM Rathnakaran K (2410) from India whom successfully achieved a GM norm in this tournament. Full results can be seen here.

The Sydney International Open was first held in 2007 and began right after Doeberl since then. Taking  place at the Town Hall, Paramatta, SIO has become one of the biggest tournaments in Australia each year. The event this year got a sole winner who shared the first place in 50th Doeberl Cup a week before that. See the results.

Great tournaments in a great country, but unfortunately the results didn't go well for me. I have convincingly lost 40 elo points at Doeberl and 13 at SIO. Adding my loss in Vietnam last month (-9) has made my live rating drop till 2287. Bad luck... Although my health was something that has to be blamed for, more or less. The flu symptoms that I had before the start of the tournament became worse as the tournament was on the run and could only recover by the day it finished.

That aside, I have gained everything else: experience, friends, and a new entry for my "Visited Countries" list. Look forward on coming back again!


the opening ceremony of the Doeberl Cup

the people behind the 50th Doeberl Cup

GM Horvath Adam, the winner of the tournament

IM Morris James, the winner of the annual 2012 Lightning tournament

WFM Megan Setiabudi, one of Australian best juniors

with Mr. Ambassador at Indonesian Embassy in Canberra

celebrating the end of my teenage years in a foreign land

one of the presents I got is... a banquet of flowers :)

with Derek, Moulthun, Alex, Jason, and Junta

in remembrance of the 2000 Olympiad in Sydney

Junta, me , and Moulthun at the Sydney Harbour

sightseeing after SIO... Sydney Aquarium!

to be honest, I don't know what kind of fish I'm looking at @_@

for all chocolate lovers, make sure you vist Max Brenner :)

at Sydney Opera House

old friend reunion, with Elsa Yueh in Melbourne