Winners: GM David Smerdon and WIM Arianne Caoili
Congratulations also to the following title earners.
Of course, we already know about James Morris, but also walking away with well-earned FIDE master titles are New Zealand's Michael Steadman and Bobby Cheng. For Steadman, his last round bout showed that there is justice in chess. Overwhelmingly winning his position thanks to 2 passers and a piece up, Steadman steadily found his position deteriorate against the determined defence of one Ronald Scott.
Then just as he was cruising to a fantastic victory, Scott blunders and walks into a mate in one!
Among the women Kiwi Olympiad rep Sue Maroroa earned her woman international master title, while the ACT's Emma Guo as well as Wollongong's Vaness Reid both secured the WFM variety.
I'm also pretty sure that there were a couple of WCM titles earned, but as one player at the venue asked upon hearing about WCMs, "What's that?"
OK - here's my favourite game from the event.
2009 Oceania Zonal
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 Bg4 6. Bd3 Nf6 7. O-O Be7 8. Nbd2 O-O 9. c3 c6 10. Qc2 Nbd7 11. Nh4 g6 12. h3 Be6 13. Nhf3 Re8 14. Ng5 Nf8 15. f4 Nh5 16. Nxe6 Nxe6 17. f5 Nef4 18. Ne4 Nxd3 19. Qxd3 d5 20. Nf2 Bd6 21. Ng4 Ng3 22. fxg6 Ne2+ 23. Kh1 Ng3+
Position after 23...Ng3+
24. Qxg3 Bxg3 25. gxf7+ Kh8 26. fxe8=N Qxe8 27. Bh6 Qh5 28. Rf3 Bd6 29. Raf1 Rg8 30. Bf4 Bxf4 31. Nf6 Qg5 32. Nxg8 Bd6 33. Nf6 h5 34. Rf5 Qg3 35. Rxh5+ Kg7 36. Rh7+ 1-0
GM Rogers commentated on this game in round 8.