Oceania Zone 3.6 Championship Sydney (AUS) July 3 - 10, 2015 Print
Wednesday, 15 July 2015 13:44
zonal tn

Oceania Zone 3.6 Championship was held in Sydney, Australia July 3 - 10, 2015

This year's Oceania Zone 3.6 Championship was hosted successfully by the Norths Chess Club at the Norths Leagues Club in Cammeray, North Sydney from July 3rd to July 6th. The Open section attracted a record of 103 entries and the Women's section just 14. It included representative players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

The Open section although lacking any of Australasia's Grandmasters did include a very strong field of International Masters featuring most of the rising stars of Oceania chess.

Top seed and the only FIDE rated player over 2500 was IM Max Illingworth. Max stormed into an early lead beating rival IM's Igor Goldenberg, Moulthun Ly and Junta Ikeda in successive rounds and after 7 rounds had a perfect score and looked unstoppable. He was a point clear of his nearest rival, young IM Anton Smirnov with his other opponents back on 5.5 points. In round 8 he was held to a draw by Anton Smirnov but still maintained a point advantage over his nearest rivals Smirnov and Brodie McClymont who had also come into contention after wins over Goldenberg and Ly.

The last round appeared to be going Max's way after he won some pawns but McClymont kept up the pressure turned the tables when both players got into time trouble. The resultant tie for first place meant a play-off match was needed to determine the qualifying place for the World Cup. In an extremely hard fought match, Max came out the winner by 1.5 to 0.5. Max has already achieved 2 GM norms and needs just one further norm for his GM title.

The tournament was a great success with several players qualifying for FM and CM titles.

The Women's tournament attracted a smaller entry of 14 players. The early leader was WIM Biljana Dekic but she was overtaken by an in-form WIM Emma Guo who eventually took out first place with a 7/9 score. Second spot went to WIM Nancy Lane on 6.5 points with WIM Biljana Dekic and Kristine Quek Shi Ning in third = place on 6 points. This was a well deserved win for Emma after she had lost the previous two Zonal play-off matches against IM Irina Berezina.

The Oceania Chess Confederation thanks the Norths Chess Club for organising the tournament and thanks the Norths Leagues Club and the Asian Chess Federation for their financial support.

By Paul Spiller

IM Max Illingworth playing off against Brodie McClymont

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