Friday, 20 January 2017

2017 Oceania Zonal - Smirnov and Timergazi win events

IM Anton Smirnov (AUS) has finished outright first in the 2017 Oceania Zonal. Leading by half a point going into the last round, he drew a dramatic game against FM Karl Zelesco on the top board, which ended in a repetition after Zelesco sacrificed two rooks and Smirnov missed a move that refuted the whole attack. This result gave GM Max Illingworth and IM Ari Dale a chance to catch Smirnov, but both players could only draw their last round games.
WFM Layla Timergazi (NZL) finished first in the 2017 Oceania Women's Zonal, drawing her last round game with WFM Helen Milligan (NZL). She scored 7.5/9 and will receive the WIM title for her victory. Kathryn Hardegen (AUS) and Alana Chibnall finished in equal second after winning their last round games, and both have earned the WFM title.
This event proved to be a bit of a bonanza for title hunters, with a number of newly minted (W)FM's and (W)CM's. From a Canberra perspective it was very rewarding, with Michael Kethro scoring 6/9 to earn his FM title, and Albert Winkelman going within a whisker of drawing his last round game , which would have also given him 6 points (he can claim the CM title as consolation). Of course every zonal reignites the debate about whether the players deserve the title, and you can follow the latest instalment here. (NB If you have followed this thread in the past, only the dates on the postings will have changed, not the content of those posts)

Chibnall,Alana - Smith,Viv [B07]
2017 Oceania Women's Zonal , 19.01.2017

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