The tournament recognises David Ellis' substantial and continued contributions to Western Australian chess, as player, coach, administrator and newspaper columnist, since his move to Perth 45 years ago.
David was recently President of the CAWA (2013 - 2017), and is also a Life Member of the CAWA. David is a highly valued member of SSCC, having supported the club since its beginning in 2014, and he is one of the club's 9 original members.
A summary of David's contributions to chess can be found on the CAWA website (extract below):
David is well known to many in the WA chess scene through his excellent column in the West Australian newspaper since 1995. In 2000 David was awarded the prestigious Purdy Medal for Chess Journalism as well as the Australian Sports Medal.
David was born in the Isles of Scilly, about 40km from mainland Cornwall in the south west of England. He learnt to play chess at the age of 11 at Truro School, Cornwall. David says that GM Michael Adams (one of the top players in the world) was the school's most famous player.
Before coming to WA in 1972, David was an accomplished player. His titles included; West of England Minor (U16) Champion 1955; Cornish Junior Champion 1957; Kent Champion 1965; West of England Champion 1966; and Cornish Champion 1966 and 1969.
The impact on chess in WA was immediate when David arrived. His first opponent (and victim) was Haydn Barber in the Fremantle Open.
In 1975, 1978 and 1979 David was the WA State Champion. He lost a play-off in 1984, and was runner-up in 1973, 1974 and 1992. David played in a number of Australian Championships, his best result being equal third in 1995.
Even before coming to Australia, David was involved in coaching, organisation and administration of chess (since secondary school). David mentioned that the most famous player he coached was the British Champion GM Julian Hodgson, when he was about 8 or 9 years old.
In WA, David has been involved in the running of North Suburban, Willetton Sports and St Brigids Chess Clubs. He has also been the Organiser of the WA Grand Prix for many years.
As many would know, David has a son, John and daughter, Tanya. Both have won a number of State Junior Championship Titles and Tanya was a regular member of the WA girls and then women's State team.
This involvement led David into nearly 10 years of voluntary service to the WA Women's & Girls Chess Council. David coached their members who gained significant success in inter-state matches. WA won the Girls' Division of the Dorothy Dibley Shield (inter-state chess competition via telephone) in 1992, 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000. WA won the Shield outright (Women's and Girls' Divisions collectively) in 1999.
This fantastic effort has led David to be chosen, on numerous occasions, as CAWA's nominee for Coach of the Year to the WA Sports Star Awards. In addition to this, David has helped organise and run the inter-state matches, Women's & Girls State Championships and other competitions for the CAWA.
As with other successful and busy people, David also found time for other pursuits, playing cricket for 15 years with the Willetton Sports and Rostrata Clubs. You would have seen David behind the stumps as wicket-keeper and then in front of the wickets knocking a half century as the opening batsman.