2012 Queenstown Chess Classic ends with three winners

1/23/2012 – The Third Queenstown Chess Classic finished today with three players tied for first at 7.5/9 points: Darryl Johansen, Li Chao and Zhao Jun. The venue is one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist destinations – Lord of the Rings country with lakes and giant sequoia trees. WGM Kruttika Nadig, who played in the event, sent us impressions impressions from the city where 'everyone is welcome'.

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2012 Queenstown Classic under way

By WGM Kruttika Nadig

The tri-annual Queenstown Chess Classic is took place from 15th-23rd January 2012 at the Millennium Hotel in Queenstown on New Zealand’s picturesque South Island, known for its stunning natural scenery featured in the Lord of the Rings movies. It featured players from 19 different countries, with 46 titled players including 11 GMs, 11 IMs, four WGMs and four WIMs, all vying for the top prize of NZ $7,000 (approximately US $5,500).

It was a nine-round FIDE rated tournament, with one game per day, and title norms possible. Time control: 100 minutes for each player for the first 40 moves (followed by 50 minutes/20 moves and 15 minutes/remaining moves) plus 30 seconds increment for each move played, from move 1. This is equivalent to 2 hours for the first 40 moves, and thus conducive to top quality chess. The organisers banned draw offers before 30 moves for the top ten boards in the interest of producing fighting games.

The Queenstown Chess Classic also incorporated the official 119th New Zealand Chess Championships, with an added incentive for New Zealand players being that the event had two automatic Olympiad team qualification places on offer – one spot each for both the Open and the Women's team.

Thanks to NZ’s reversed seasons (which means we are now in summer), players were able to enjoy walks in the mildly chilly mornings. The town shopping centre, park and wharf are all at short walking distance from both the playing hall and the shared apartments where players were housed.


This is the view from the apartments where invited players are staying. The seemingly
never-ending journey from India to the far east was certainly worth it!


Queenstown’s “gondola” or cable car ropeway, where several
players went to unwind after the games

Giant sequoia trees dwarf the streets and provide much needed relief from the hot afternoons. It was discovered that the Sequoiadendron Giganteum grow much faster in New Zealand soil. The above tree, one of two, was planted in 1874 is in the heart of Queenstown.


The tree is over 100 feet tall and has a sign on it showing it is protected


Cruises on the lake The crowds (or what can be considered a crowd among a
resident population of only 10,000!) throng at...


... a little strip of sand by the lake. Sunbathers, kayakers, bikers... they’re all here.


Back at the Millenium Hotel, Queenstown’s premier events venue


Old friends reunite: WGMs Irene Sukandar from Indonesia (standing) and Vivian Gu from China

The exciting fifth round match between Australian FM Christopher Wallis (left) and English GM Gawain Jones ended in a victory for White (rated 400 points lower!) after a marathon endgame involving two minor pieces versus four pawns


Third seed GM Surya Ganguly of India (right) playing Kiwi FM Stephen Lukey in round five


Relaxed after a duel: Chinese wonder-woman GM Zhao Xue (right) hanging out with
Irene Sukandar after winning their encounter

Photos by Kruttika Nadig

Final standings (after nine rounds)

Rk. Title Name FED Rtg
Pts.
1 GM Johansen Darryl K AUS 2403
7.5
2 GM Li Chao B CHN 2693
7.5
3 GM Zhao Jun CHN 2569
7.5
4 IM Akshat Khamparia IND 2414
7.0
5 GM Rozentalis Eduardas LTU 2592
7.0
6 Tao Trevor AUS 2422
7.0
7 GM Hansen Sune Berg DEN 2572
7.0
8 GM Ganguly Surya Shekhar IND 2639
7.0
9 GM Bojkov Dejan BUL 2553
6.5
10 FM Ikeda Junta AUS 2349
6.5
11 Bird Andrew AUS 2216
6.5
12 FM Steadman Michael NZL 2258
6.5
13 WGM Sukandar Irine Kharisma INA 2325
6.5
14 Dragicevic Domagoj AUS 2277
6.5
15 FM Illingworth Max AUS 2388
6.5
16 FM Cheng Bobby AUS 2375
6.0
17 FM Smith Robert W NZL 2273
6.0
18 Zelesco Karl AUS 1990
6.0
19 FM Stojic Dusan AUS 2294
6.0
20 GM Bischoff Klaus GER 2537
6.0
21 IM Dive Russell John NZL 2345
6.0
22 IM Morris James AUS 2354
6.0
23 GM Zhao Xue CHN 2551
6.0
24 GM Jones Gawain C B ENG 2653
6.0
25 IM Solomon Stephen J AUS 2375
6.0
26 IM Ly Moulthun AUS 2376
6.0
27 IM West Guy AUS 2323
6.0
28 IM Garbett Paul Anthony NZL 2290
5.5
29 IM Van Riemsdijk Herman BRA 2401
5.5
30 WGM Nadig Kruttika IND 2234
5.5
31 GM Haznedaroglu Kivanc TUR 2455
5.5
32 Pyke Malcolm AUS 2132
5.5
33 FM Hartvig Ove Weiss DEN 2210
5.5
34 Tang Jason AUS 2030
5.5
35 FM Wallis Christopher AUS 2259
5.5
36 IM Xie George Wendi AUS 2459
5.5
37 WGM Gu Xiaobing CHN 2244
5.5
38 Drummond Matthew AUS 2227
5.5
39 Schon Eugene AUS 2188
5.5
40 Matheson Laurence AUS 2167
5.5
41 Li Zuhao Luke NZL 2165
5.5

Links

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Previous ChessBase reports on the Queenstown Chess Classic

2012 Queenstown Chess Classic starts with one hammered van
16.01.2012 – This nine-round FIDE rated tournament, which takes place from 15th-23rd January 2012 in Queenstown, New Zealand, was cast into jeopardy when the Hammer hardware van containing most of the tournament equipment was smashed beyond repair by an out of control oncoming vehicle. A salvage company came to the rescue, as you will see in our giant pictorial report.

Chess Classic in Queenstown – an adventure down under
22.01.2009 – It is like a zillion miles away, and it takes you weeks to get there. Well, not quite – more like 34 hours. But the journey is well worth undertaking. You get ten days of chess, and can tack on another ten days of adventure and nature in one of the last wild spots on our planet. We didn't make it to Queenstown, but received this big pictorial report from our intrepid reporter Evi Zickelbein.
Murray Chandler wins Queenstown Chess Classic
08.02.2006 – This is LOTR country – Lord of the Rings to the uninitiated. It is the adventure capital of the world. for people who like fast jetboats or bungy jumping, an activity invented in Queenstown! But it also paid host to a big chess tournament, with many interesting new faces. Big pictorial report.
Lord of the Kings – Queenstown Chess Classic
08.05.2005 – Like to visit New Zealand? We know that it is on the other side of the globe, but it is Lord of the Rings country. The excuse for going: there is a very attractive tournament in Queenstown. You can combine chess with the holiday of a lifetime!

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