One of Australia’s top chess players is fighting for his life after a car smash that killed two of his friends.
Six members of the Melbourne Chess Club were returning from the Doeberl Cup in Canberra on Monday night when their Toyota Tarago rolled off the Hume Freeway near Winton in northeastern Victoria.
Passengers Andrew Saint and Hannibal Swartz, both aged in their 30s, died in the smash, while fellow players James Morris and Dimitri Partsi were seriously injured.
Two other chess players, Anthony Hain and Paul Cavezza, were treated in Wangaratta.
Mr Morris, an international chess master, is in a critical but stable condition at The Alfred hospital with head and chest injuries. Mr Partsi is in a serious condition at Royal Melbourne Hospital.
Melbourne Chess Club president Grant Szuveges said he was close friends with Mr Saint, who had moved to Melbourne from South Australia three years ago.
He was the club treasurer last year and was highly regarded in chess circles. He won the second-category tournament during the Doeberl Cup.
The chess club, which has about 150 members, will organize a memorial event to honour Mr Saint and Mr Swartz.