International master George Xie wins the Australian Open on tiebreak. Details, games and even some well-taken pictures are available on the official site. That's yet another great result for Xie and should hopefully give him the much needed boost to press on for that GM title. He, of course, now has 3 grandmaster norms and just needs to raise his rating to 2500.
I also want to say a big congrats to Vladimir Smirnov. This professor of economics over at the University of Sydney's Business School has been an FM for some time. Thanks to his fine performance in North Sydney, he finally notched up his third IM norm.
Worth mentioning is that these two guys, Xie and Smirnov (as well as his son, Anton), are actually veterans of the Hyde Park chess club. I hope that we'll still continue to see them in the years to come. The boys always get excited when some big fish comes along.