Sunday 18 January 2009

David Smerdon closing in on GM Title

Canberra's Number 1 player IM David Smerdon is moving closer to his elusive Grandmaster title. David picked up his final GM norm in 2007, but still needs to get his rating above 2500 to be awarded the title. For the past 2 years he has been within 50 points of the target, but as yet hasn't quite bridged the gap.
However in the Queenstown Classic he has got off to an excellent start, lying in equal 3rd with 3.5/4. In todays round he drew with top seed GM Victor Mikhalevski while yesterday he caught Hong Kong No.1 WGM Anya Corke in an opening trap and won in 16 moves. Tomorrow he is paired against another GM, England Olympiad captain Peter Wells, and a win or draw for David will gain him more of the rating points he needs.
Leading the tournament are GM Gawain Jones and GM Eduardis Rozentalis who are the only players with 4 straight wins. However their top board clash will have to wait for another day, as Rozentalis is taking advantage of the generous tournament conditions and receiving a half point bye while he does some sight seeing.

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