The inaugural Sydney International Open finished yesterday, with the top 2 places going to visiting Grandmasters. GM Georgy Timoshenko (UKR) and GM Dejan Antic (SCG) finished equal first on 7.5/9, with Timoshenko finishing with the better tie break.
In equal third was another overseas GM, Victor Mikhalevski (IS), along with a trio of Australians, IM Zong Yuan Zhao, GM Darryl Johansen, and IM Gary Lane, all on 7.
Darryl Johansen leapfrogged long time tournament leader GM Ian Rogers with a brutal last round win. Rogers, who had gone into the final day on 6/7 only managed half a point on the final day and finished in a tie for 7th on 6.5/9
Canberra player Gareth Oliver scored an IM norm with a last round draw with Moulthan Ly. Olivers score of 6/9 was enough for the norm, having played a field that included 2 Gm's and 2 IM's during the tournament. Probably his key game was against IM David Smerdon in Round 7.
Gareth Oliver v IM David Smerdon
2007 Sydney International Open, Round 7
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Bd2 Nb6 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.e4 Bg4 8.Be3 Bg7 9.d5 Ne5 10.Be2 Bxf3 11.gxf3 O-O 12.Qb3 Qc8 13.h3 c6 14.Rc1 Kh8 15.f4 Ned7 16.Bf3 Rd8 17.O-O e5 18.dxe6 fxe6 19.Qxe6 Ne5 20.Bg4 Qxe6 21.Bxe6 Nd3 22.Rc2 Re8 23.f5 gxf5 24.exf5 Nxb2 25.Ne4 N2c4 26.Bc5 Ne5 27.Nd6 Re7 28.f4 Nd3 29.Ba3 Bd4+ 30.Kh1 c5 31.Rd2 Rd8 32.Nf7+ Rxf7 33.Bxf7 Nb4 34.Bxb4 cxb4 35.Be6 1-0
Based on the number of entries, and the level of overseas interest, it is almost certain that there will be a 2008 Sydney International Open. Already discussions between the organisers of the SIO and the O2C Doeberl Cup have been held concerning the co-ordination of next years events. It is hoped that title norms will be available at both tournaments giving Australian (and overseas) players two chances at earning IM and GM titles.