David Smerdon Dominates in Queenstown

2009 Queenstown Chess Classic, 15-24th January

Young Australian International Master David Smerdon claimed the 2009 Queenstown Chess Classic despite the loss in the last round against England’s GM Gawain Jones. Smerdon headed into the final day full point ahead of the competition and remained alone on the top as none of the closest followers succeeded to win. He is already holding three Grandmaster norms and is only required to reach 2500-rating mark to be officially awarded with the prestigious title.

Six guesting Grandmasters shared second to seventh with 7.5 points from 10 rounds. The richest ever tournament to be held on New Zealand, with NZ $50,000 prize fund, attracted total of 120 players in the main group. Numerous additional competitions, like Rapid and Lightning events, also took part. However, the official tournament blog, hosted by well known Amiel Rosario, notes that it is unclear whether this tournament will ever happen again.

In cooperation with the New Zealand Chess Federation (NZCF), the 2009 Queenstown Chess Classic also incorporated the official 116th New Zealand Chess Championships. This event has a famous history, being the oldest continuously staged national championship in the world. IM Anthony Ker was the highest placed NZ player and became the national champion, which is now his tenth title.

Final standings:

1. IM Smerdon David AUS 2463 – 8.0

2-7. GM Rozentalis Eduardas LTU 2590, GM Mikhalevski Victor ISR 2608, GM Bischoff Klaus GER 2545, GM Jones Gawain ENG 2540, GM Mastrovasilis Dimitrios GRE 2580 and GM Johannessen Leif Erlend NOR 2539 – 7.5

8-11. IM Wohl Aleksander AUS 2342, Dragicevic Domagoj AUS 2205, Chow Samuel AUS 2267 and GM Johansen Darryl AUS 2455 – 7.0

12-24. FM Goldenberg Igor AUS 2398, GM Wells Peter ENG 2513, GM Hecht Hans-Joachim GER 2394, IM Ker Anthony NZL 2321, IM Solomon Stephen AUS 2460, Brown Andrew AUS 1987, FM Saw Geoffrey AUS 2257, FM Reilly Tim AUS 2256, FM Lyell Mark ENG 2287, Drummond Matthew AUS 2236, Ikeda Junta AUS 2247, Stojic Dusan AUS 2219 and Illingworth Max AUS 2250 – 6.5

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