Sunday 21 March 2021

2021 Oceania Zonal - Day 1

 The grand experiment of a hybrid zonal has begun, with the 2021 Oceania Zonal starting today. In the Hybrid format, the players still play online, but are supervised in person, by a local arbiter. While the format was created as a reaction to Covid related travel restrictions, the vast distances between Oceania federations was another reason to try it.

7 federations are represented (PNG being the only one missing, in part due to the Covid situation there), with Australia having 2 representatives, and the rest 1. After the first day, the 2 Australian GM's (Kuybokarov and Smirnov) lead with 2/2, although Smirnov had to work very hard to win his 2nd game. On the other hand the tournament 3rd seed, FM Nick Croad (NZ) had a very tough time, as he was paired against both GM's. As the tournament is a round robin, he won't be the only player facing back to back GM's, as the seedings have them grouped together. 

The tournament is being hosted at and the games can be watched on a 30 minute delay. The remaining playing days are the 21st, 27th and 28th of March, with the rounds starting at 11am and 5pm Canberra time on each day, except for the final day, when there is only an 11am round.

Anton_Smirnov - Nic_Croad [C69]
Rated Correspondence game (1), 19.03.2021

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