Sunday 10 January 2016

Australian and New Zealand Championships heading towards conclusions

Both the 2016 Australian and New Zealand Championships are into the home stretch, although the outcome of both is still yet to be decided.
Going into the final round GM Gawain Jones leads the tournament on 7/8, half a point ahead of GM Wenjun Ju of China. Having already played each other, Jones faces GM Alexandr Fier, while Ju is up against IM Deimante Daulyte. While the winner is likley to be determined by these two matches, there is still a chance that  a couple of players could catch up, if both tournament leaders lose. One of these players is FM Alexei Kulashko who is currently the leading NZ player on 6/8.
The Australian Championship has reached round 9 (out of 11 rounds), with IM Bobby Cheng and IM Kanan Izzat leading on 6.5/8. Izzat had lead the event with 6/6, but a loss to FM Karl Zelesco and a draw with GM Vasily Papin has slowed his charge. Zelesco briefly shared the lead with Izzat after 7 rounds, but a loss to Cheng in round 8 has left him tied for third on 6 points. One interesting round 89 pairing is the Zelesco v Luke Li match up, with a draw by Luke Li giving him an IM norm (I assume) while Zelesco just needs Li to turn up to earn his.

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