Wednesday 25 January 2023

2023 Oceania Zonal - quick impressions

 I dropped in towards the end of the third day of the 2023 Oceania Zonal to get a quick overview of the event. Most of the games were completed by the time I arrived, so I am yet to get a sense of how large the event actually is.

The venue is quite nice, although the tournament is spread out across 4 rooms. All games being broadcast live are in one room, while the rest of the games are spread out. There is no specific analysis room, but players seem to be happy meeting in the foyer area. With so many players/rooms, the tournament has 5 or 6 arbiters who each have a room to supervise. There are alos a large number of volunteers, who handle things like bags and mobile phones.

As for the chess WGM Julia Ryjanova is the sole leader of the Women's Zonal. She has scored 5/5 and is a point ahead of Om O'Carroll and Jody Middleton. WGM Jilin Zhang  is off to a slow start (3.5), but has yet to play Ryjanova.

In the Open there are 4 players on 5/5. GM's Temur Kuybokarov and Zong Yuan Zhao have been joined by  FM Patrick Gong and Rebo Fu. Curiously 3 of the leaders are all from Western Australia, and all played in the recently completed Australian Open.

Tomorrow has a blitz event in the morning, with Round 6 starting in the afternoon. With 4 rounds to play, the field is starting to sort itself out, but it will take another round or 2 before a likely winner (or winners) will emerge.

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