Despite not being able to attend this years Chess Olympiad GM Zong Yuan Zhao provided some stiff competition for those who are. He has just finished first in the 2012 Gold Coast Open with 5.5/6. Along the way he beat WIM Emma Guo, IM Aleks Wohl and drew with IM Moulthun Ly, who are all off to Istanbul in two months. There was a 4 way tie for 2nd, with Ly, IM Stephen Solomon, FM Max Illingworth and FM Gene Nakauchi finishing on 5.
This years event was FIDE rated for the first time, although this necessitated the top section being reduced to 6 rounds. However, even with a 57 player field, it looked as though the leading players did meet when required.
Overall the event attracted 137 players which I believe is a record for this tournament, and yet another Australian weekender comfortably moving past the 120 player mark.