David Smerdon and Zong-Yuan Zhao test their skills at the Oceania World Chess Championship Qualifier being held at Twin Towns.
David Smerdon and Zong-Yuan Zhao test their skills at the Oceania World Chess Championship Qualifier being held at Twin Towns. Craig Sadler d128094a

Masters make all the right moves

SOME of Australia's best chess exponents are showing their knowledge of the game at the 2009 Oceania World Chess Championship Qualifier being played at Twin Towns Resort in Tweed Heads.

Their tactics and powers of concentration will need to be at their sharpest if they are to take out the top honours at the tournament.

The winner of the tournament will go through to represent the region in the chess World Cup in Siberia in November.

Players from as young as nine have been taking part in the competition - which started last Saturday and concludes today.

It has attracted 91 hopeful entrants from six Oceania countries, with the regional representative receiving $1500 for their efforts.

Contested in Open and Women's divisions, players build up a cumulative score over nine rounds, with the best players facing each other in the final this morning from 10am.

Tournament media officer Cathy Rogers said the average game of chess usually took more than three hours and required a great mental focus from the players.

“We have some fine young players coming through such as grandmaster Zhao Zong Yuan from Sydney and Brisbane-born grandmaster David Smerdon, who are both in their early 20s,” Rogers said.

“Australia has a long way to go to be up with the real contenders for the World Cup - countries such as Russia or Armenia and India and China.

“Interest in international chess is very strong overseas, with some of the leading players capable of making some big money.”

The final of the Oceania World Chess Championship Qualifier gets underway from 10am this morning at the Twin Towns Resort.



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