Monday 4 January 2016

2016 New Zealand Open

Three and a half hours flight away, the 2016 New Zealand Open is also being held. Unlike the Australian Championship, the New Zealand Championship is held every year, although the format moves between Open and restricted swiss, depending upon the circumstances. In recent years it has been run as an international open, and has succeeded in attracting a very strong field.
This years tournament is headed by GM Nigel Short who is one of 6 GM's in the field. GM Gawain Jones is 2nd seed, and with GM's Alexandr Fier and Qun Ma there are 4 2600+ players at the top. There are 66 players in the Open, and another 52 players in the Major, which is running at the same time. Given the respective populations of Australia and New Zealand, the organisers have done very well to get a tournament of that size.
After 2 rounds the top seeds are still cruising, with all the GM's on 2/2. The title of New Zealand Champion is of course awarded to the best scoring NZ player, and at this stage there are also 5 local players tied for first.
Coverage of the event can be found at the tournament website. There is live coverage of the top boards with pgn files being posted a little later. With the difference in time zones, you can start your morning watching the action from Auckland, before moving onto the Aus Champs in the afternoon!

Short,Nigel D (2684) - Li,William Xiang Wei (2030)
New Zealand Open 2016 Devonport, Auckland NZL (1.1), 02.01.2016

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