Friday, 9 January 2015

GM Xue Zhao wins 2015 New Zealand Open

GM Xue Zhao (CHN) has won the 2015 New Zealand Open with an impressive score of 8/9. In the final round she faced young Australian Karl Zelesco, who was only half a point behind her. In a winner take all game, Zhao ket the position under control before going ahead materially and collecting the full point. There was a 4 way tie for second place with GM's Klaus Bischoff, David Howell, Allen Rasmussen and CM Eu Wen Teh all winning their last round games to score 7/9.
The title of New Zealand Champion was awarded to the highest placed New Zealand player and due to a combination of results (calculated by IM Anthony Kerr as having a 1.9%  chance of actually occurring), there was a massive 9 way tie. The players (too numerous to mention) finished on 6/9, and can all add the title of 2015 New Zealand Champion to their resume (there is no tie-break for the NZ title). Curiously they 6/9 score left them out of the tournament prize list, so their was no monetary reward to go with the title.
The full results from the event can be found at the tournament website (NB For those who only 8 New Zealanders on 6/9, Gordon Morrell is an NZ resident despite playing under a Canadian flag).

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