It seems that the press team at the Queenstown Chess tournament have just got up and left. There is no round 10 media release and, so far, details on the rapid and blitz winners are missing.
Well, lucky for you dear readers, yours truly was there on the spot!
In the rapid championships, local player Puchen Wang was declared official champion. Grandmasters Hecht and Sermek came equal first on points score. The event was rather interesting for me as it was the first time that I'd seen IM Wohl play in a fast time limit. And my God, he's good! He made the normally reliable IM Ker look like a total bunny.
Later in the day, the blitz championships were held. New Zealand does things a bit differently. Instead of playing one big swiss they have a 7 rounder elimination from which the top 8 finishers (which must include the top 2 kiwis) then proceed to a 7-rounder RR. The rest of the field now comprise a reserves section and play another 7 round open.
In the top section were: Zhao, Ker, Dive, Smerdon, Solomon, Shanmugan, Tabatt and Karolyi. And the winner? Australia's international master Zong Yuan Zhao. Zhao has now won 3 strong blitz titles - the NSW, the Aussie and NZ. For this reason, Zhao deserves a nickname. He is a "Demonio". The guy is just a maniac.
IM Anthony Ker was official blitz champion after finishing as the top kiwi scorer. He garnered 3/7 points. The day wasn't really a good hunting trip for the local players. Dive, for instance, managed only the measly half a point.
Top scorers in the reserves were: Wang, Green: 6; Lane, Smith: 5.5; Ikeda, Nyberg, Armstrong, Rosario: 5.