NZ Open Ch Final: Gawain Jones clinches the title

A draw against GM Fier in the 9th and final round of the New Zealand Open Chess Championship 2016 proved sufficient for GM Gawain Jones to finish as the sole winner. Jones, who started off as the second seed, finished with 7.5/9 and remained unbeaten throughout the course of the tournament.

For the second place, a three-way tie was witnessed as GMs Nigel Short, Ju Wenjun and Ma Qun finished with 7 points each. However, it was Ju Wenjun who emerged as the frontrunner in the race for the second place, thanks to her superior tie-break score.

Amongst players from the host country, FM Alexei Kulashko turned out to be the best player. Kulashko scored a total of 6 points.

Final Standings: Here

NZ Open Ch 08: Jones still on top, Ju Wenjun sole second

A convincing victory over FM Koop Thorben in the 8th round of the New Zealand Open Chess Championship 2016 helped GM Ju Wenjun inch closer to the tournament leader GM Gawain Jones. The Chinese GM has notched up 6.5 points so far whilst Jones, who drew GM Ma Qun in today’s round, is leading the table with 7/8.

Meanwhile, the clash between GMs Fier and Short on the second table ended peacefully. The duo, together with GM Ma Qun, IM Daulyte and FM Kulashko, are placed joint-third with 6 points each.

The 9th and final round of this open event will witness tournament leader Jones take on Fier while Ju Wenjun is paired against Daulyte. The tournament is poised for an exciting finish, especially if Ju Wenjun manages to rack up a victory.

Round 8 Results: Here

NZ Open Ch 07: Gawain Jones reigning supreme

GM Gawain Jones’s excellent endgame technique helped him register a comfortable victory over FM Aleksei Kulashko in the seventh round of the New Zealand Open Chess Championship 2016. With this victory, the English GM has now moved on to an impressive 6.5/7, a point ahead of his closest competitors.

However, the 2nd and 3rd boards, featuring GM vs GM clashes, generated a lot more interest. Despite an interesting draw in Fier – Ju Wenjun, it was GM Nigel Short’s convincing win over GM Matthieu Cornette that hogged the limelight. Playing the White side of the King’s Indian Defence, the former World Championship Challenger duly capitalized on his opponent’s mistakes to emerge with a dominant position. Cornette saw nothing better and decided to resign on move 31. GMs Short, Fier, Ma Qun and Ju Wenjun are currently placed joint-second with 5.5/7.

Round 7 Results: Here

Rilton Cup Final: Rodshtein wins the tournament, crosses 2700 mark

The Rilton Cup 2015/16 was held in the city of Stockholm, Sweden. A total of 94 players including 18 GMs, 2 WGMs and 19 IMs took part in this 9-round open, wherein GM Jon Ludvig Hammer of Norway started as the top-seed.

With a final-round victory over GM Hans Tikkanen, GM Maxim Rodshtein of Israel emerged as the winner of the tournament. Rodshtein notched up an impressive tally of 8 points, winning seven games and drawing two. In doing so, he also managed to cross the coveted 2700 mark in the live ratings.

Top-seed GM Hammer also had a good tournament. By overcoming IM Zumsande in the final round, he secured the second place with a total of 7.5 points by his name. Meanwhile, GM Erik Blomqvist finished on a credible third spot, gaining as many as 23 ELO points along the way.

Final Standings: Here

Qatar Final: Carlsen triumphs!

The 9th and final round of the Qatar Masters 2015 turned out to be a befitting finale to a fantastic event. Despite World Champion Magnus Carlsen (who was solely leading the field before the final round) opting for a quick draw against GM Vladimir Kramnik to cement his top spot, defending champion GM Yu Yangyi ensured that the World Champion didn’t have it easy. The Chinese Grandmaster overcame GM So Wesley in a rather interesting battle to enter a tie-break for the first prize against Carlsen.

However, the tie-break witnessed a dominant performance by the World Champion. Carlsen overcame Yu Yangyi with a 2-0 scoreline to clinch the Qatar Masters 2015, thus adding another feather to his cap. Yu Yangyi, meanwhile, finished as the runner-up on the back of an impressive finish.

Amongst Indians, GMs Ganguly, Harikrishna and Sethuraman finished tied for the 8th-17th spots.

A lot of up and coming players put on some exceptional performances. Of special note is untitled Chinese player Xu Yinglun, who notched up a total of 6 points with an outstanding rating performance of 2800, thus securing a Grandmaster norm. IMs Shardul Gagare and Vignesh NR (both India), IM Daniil Yuffa (Russia) and IM Lin Chen (China) were the other players who managed to secure Grandmaster norms. The complete norms list can be found here.

Final Standings: Here