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Max Illingworth
Number of games in database: 152
Years covered: 2007 to 2019
Last FIDE rating: 2525 (2498 rapid, 2435 blitz)

Overall record: +62 -39 =47 (57.8%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 4 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (14) 
    B33 B48 B77 B90 B20
 Queen's Pawn Game (10) 
    A45 D02 A41 A50 E10
 King's Indian (6) 
    E75 E94 E92 E90 E62
 Ruy Lopez (5) 
    C78 C95 C82 C72
 English (5) 
    A13 A15 A16
 French Defense (5) 
    C14 C10 C03 C18 C00
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (12) 
    B91 B30 B51 B29 B27
 Queen's Pawn Game (12) 
    D02 A45 A41 A40 A46
 Queen's Gambit Declined (10) 
    D37 D35 D30 D31 D36
 King's Indian (5) 
    E94 E97 E62 E92
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   M Illingworth vs Rakesh Kumar Jena, 2016 1-0
   M Illingworth vs G Lester, 2011 1-0
   M Illingworth vs Movsesian, 2014 1/2-1/2

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Bangkok Chess Club Open (2015)
   Queenstown Chess Classic (2012)
   11th BCC Thailand Open (2011)
   Chess Olympiad (2014)
   Isle of Man Masters (2016)
   Isle of Man Masters (2015)
   Chess Olympiad (2012)
   Chess Olympiad (2016)
   Abu Dhabi Masters (2017)
   Abu Dhabi Masters (2016)
   PRO League Group Stage (2019)
   Chess Olympiad (2018)

   🏆 PRO Chess League KO Stage
   T Beerdsen vs M Illingworth (Mar-20-19) 1/2-1/2, rapid
   M Illingworth vs N Mitkov (Mar-20-19) 1/2-1/2, rapid
   F Corrales Jimenez vs M Illingworth (Mar-20-19) 1/2-1/2, rapid
   M Illingworth vs A Tang (Mar-20-19) 1/2-1/2, rapid
   Alexander Costello vs M Illingworth (Mar-07-19) 1/2-1/2

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Max Illingworth
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FIDE player card for Max Illingworth

(born Nov-05-1992, 26 years old) Australia

[what is this?]

International Master (2012), Grandmaster (2015); NSW Champion (2011, 2012, 2013 & 2015); Australian Champion (2014).

Master norms

Illingworth won an IM norm from the Queenstown Chess Classic (2012), an IM and GM norm from the First Saturday GM September 2011 and scored his 3rd IM norm playing for Australia on board 4 in the Chess Olympiad (2012).

He won his second GM norm at the First Saturday GM 2014 and his third at the Australasian Masters in December 2015. Illingworth is Australia's fourth grandmaster (fifth if the late Walter Shawn Browne is counted as an Australian GM).


<State> He won the NSW Championship in 2011 with 7/9, in 2012 with 8.5/9, in 2013 and in 2015 with 8/9.

<National> He placed equal second with 8.5/13 at the 2013 Australian Championship in January. Illingworth started 2014 on a high note, winning the bi-annual Australian Championship outright with 8/11, defeating Australian wunderkind Anton Smirnov in the final round.

<World> In July 2015 he won the Oceania Zonal 3.6 to qualify for the World Cup (2015). There he was paired with Indian GM Pentala Harikrishna in the first round and bowed out of the tournament after losing by 0.5-1.5.

Standard Tournaments

In November 2012, he won the MCC Cup Weekender 2012 with the commanding score of 8.5/9, the only "blot" on an otherwise perfect score being a draw with IM Andrew Brown. He placed =2nd at the 2012 Gold Coast Open, won the NSW Open 2013. In August 2013, he placed =2nd with 7/9 at the 10th IGB Dato Arthur Tan International Open, half a point behind Xiu Deshun. He wound up 2013 with an =3rd at the Australasian Masters GM norm tournament. In April 2014, he scored a mildly disappointing 5.5/9 at the Doeberl Cup. Illingworth won the First Saturday GM Sep 2014 with 7/9, picking up a GM norm and 18 rating points to move him into 3rd position on the Australian rankings for the October 2014 FIDE rating list. In November 2014, he scored a perfect 9/9 at the 2014 MCC Hjorth Open to boost his rating by another 25 points to rapidly close in on 2500. However, 2014 finished on somewhat of an anticlimax for Illingworth at the Australasian Masters GM Norm Tournament 2014 held in Melbourne, finishing far from the leader board on 3.5/9, and shedding 17 rating points. Nevertheless, 2015 started on a strong note with 2nd place with 8/11 at the Australian Open, 2.5 points behind a rampant 10.5/11 performance by the runaway winner, Chinese super-GM Ni Hua. In June 2015, he won the NSW Open on tiebreak from Anton Smirnov.

In December 2015, Illingworth won his third GM title at the 2015 Australasian Masters where he placed 2nd, thereby securing his GM title.

Team Events

He represented Australia at the Chess Olympiad (2012), scoring 7/10 on the reserve board, and helping Australia to a higher than expected placement of 32nd (seeded 61). In August 2014, he played board 3 for Australia in the Chess Olympiad (2014) scoring an impressive 6/9 (+5 -2 =2 & TPR 2563), just shy of a GM norm, breaking even against his 4 GM opponents with an impressive last round win against Romanian GM Liviu Dieter Nisipeanu, and defeating his three IM opponents 3-0. His performance also helped Australia to an excellent 31st place, 29 ahead of its #60 seeding.

Rating and ranking history

Illingworth's highest rating to date was 2517 in September 2015 making him the #2 ranked player in the country, his highest ranking to date.


The Australian Chess Federation awarded Illingworth the Steiner Medal (Australian player of the year) for 2012.

Last updated: 2016-09-03 10:42:42

 page 1 of 7; games 1-25 of 152  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. M Illingworth vs Li Chao  ½-½582007Malaysian Open TtD80 Grunfeld
2. M Illingworth vs Akobian  ½-½772008Doeberl CupE44 Nimzo-Indian, Fischer Variation, 5.Ne2
3. M Illingworth vs D Mastrovasilis  ½-½5520092nd Queenstown Chess ClassicD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
4. M Illingworth vs S J Solomon  0-13620092nd Queenstown Chess ClassicA41 Queen's Pawn Game (with ...d6)
5. M Illingworth vs N Croad  1-03420092nd Queenstown Chess ClassicE15 Queen's Indian
6. E Wu vs M Illingworth  0-1272011Australian OpenD02 Queen's Pawn Game
7. M Illingworth vs G Lester  1-0682011Australian OpenA48 King's Indian
8. F Zulfic vs M Illingworth  0-1492011Australian OpenA41 Queen's Pawn Game (with ...d6)
9. M Illingworth vs Zhao Zong-Yuan ½-½322011Australian OpenB41 Sicilian, Kan
10. S J Solomon vs M Illingworth  ½-½202011Australian OpenD36 Queen's Gambit Declined, Exchange, Positional line, 6.Qc2
11. M Illingworth vs M Ly 1-0862011Australian OpenB80 Sicilian, Scheveningen
12. V Smirnov vs M Illingworth  1-0932011Australian OpenA41 Queen's Pawn Game (with ...d6)
13. M Illingworth vs Blair Mandla  1-0342011Australian OpenE54 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System
14. G Xie vs M Illingworth  1-0262011Australian OpenC45 Scotch Game
15. M Illingworth vs G Nakauchi  1-0322011Australian OpenA30 English, Symmetrical
16. A Brown vs M Illingworth  1-0382011Australian OpenD85 Grunfeld
17. S Tuamsang vs M Illingworth  0-132201111th BCC Thailand OpenD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
18. M Illingworth vs G Schebler  ½-½15201111th BCC Thailand OpenC10 French
19. M Illingworth vs B Thebault  1-042201111th BCC Thailand OpenD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
20. J Gustafsson vs M Illingworth  ½-½51201111th BCC Thailand OpenD38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
21. N Murshed vs M Illingworth  ½-½41201111th BCC Thailand OpenD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
22. M Illingworth vs K Stokke  0-160201111th BCC Thailand OpenE62 King's Indian, Fianchetto
23. M Illingworth vs B R Watson  0-1622011George Trundle NZ Masters TtB48 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
24. D Shen vs M Illingworth  1-0492011George Trundle NZ Masters TtB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
25. M Illingworth vs B Cheng 0-1542011George Trundle NZ Masters TtC03 French, Tarrasch
 page 1 of 7; games 1-25 of 152  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Illingworth wins | Illingworth loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-13-11  ozmikey: Congratulations to Max on joint first place in the September First Saturday tournament in Budapest, with wins against three GMs along the way:

Great to see another young Oz player making a name for himself beyond our shores. With Moulthun Ly, Bobby Cheng, Andrew Brown, James Morris and others on the march as well, the outlook is excellent for us.

Sep-13-11  SimonWebbsTiger: I chatted with Max on a little while ago. He said he was taking a sabbatical, trying to see if he could become a GM. This result will boost his confidence and be a good help on that rocky road.
Sep-13-11  twinlark: <ozmikey> So is this an actual GM norm for Max? Guess it must be as 7/9 must be a GM norm in that field. I see he beat all the GMs and drew with most of the rest. Don't see that very often.
Sep-16-12  ozmikey: Max has apparently now achieved his IM title on the back of his performance at the Olympiad. Congratulations!
Jan-11-14  ozmikey: Max has just won the 2014 Australian Championship, beating young Anton Smirnov in the decisive last round game. Congratulations.

It was a tournament where the younger players excelled - apart from Max and Anton, Karl Zelesco had a superb tournament, beating Darryl K Johansen in the last round to finish in shared second place.

Only a matter of time before we produce another GM...or several!

Jan-11-14  twinlark: Congratulations to Max! Reckon Max, Karl and Anton are all GM material.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: He is the second-best Illingworth to leave Australian shores.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Max Illingworth is coming close to that 3rd GM norm (or however many he has/needs). At the Bangkok Chess Club Open (2015), he scored 6.5/9 (+6,-2,=1) to finish in a 14-way tie for 5th (15th overall).

He was the 14th seed, so it may seem that he kinda underperformed, but he did gain 7 rating points to move from 2489 to 2496 (2500 is needed for a GM title). Unfortunately, his TPR was only 2528, so no norm here, just points.

Dec-26-15  twinlark: Max Illingworth finally secured his 3rd GM norm at the recently concluded Australian Master event. His ratification by FIDE as a GM should be a formality as he has already rated over 2500.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sonia91: <twinlark> It was actually the <Australasian> Masters (; you wrote already <Grandmaster (2015)> but the next FIDE presidential board meeting will be held in March 2016.
Dec-26-15  twinlark: <sonia91>

Thanks for the correction concerning the Australasian Masters. However, the date of effect of a GM title is from the date a player meets all technical criteria.

FIDE's presidential board meeting in March ratifies the application that is lodged for the title, but the date of effect of the acquisition of the title is not the date of FIDE's meeting, but is backdated to the final criterion - in this case the third GM norm - being met.

Premium Chessgames Member
  sonia91: <Illingworth is Australia's fourth grandmaster (fifth if the late Walter Shawn Browne is counted as an Australian GM).> According to there are already 4 Australian GMs (excluding Browne), Illingworth should be the fifth.

There is still "Australian Master" instead of "Australasian Masters" in the "Master norms" paragraph.

Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: Congrats to the new GM!
Apr-08-16  ozmikey: Wonderful news, and no-one has worked harder for the title than Max, believe me. As I've mentioned on another thread, it is much, much more difficult for an Australian (so far away from the epicentre of high-level chess activity, and with zero government or private-sector support) to gain the GM title than it is for Europeans.

I still have some of those old NSW Junior League magazines with photos of Max as a fresh-faced 10-year-old winning his first junior tournaments. Congratulations on reaching the well-deserved end of a long journey.

Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: <ozmikey> Hopefully not the end, but the beginning. The sky's the limit!
Oct-06-16  BIDMONFA: Max Illingworth

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