Australia has a 3rd GM

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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0 | Chess Event Coverage
He did it. Today Zong-Yuan Zhao became the third grandmaster of his continent. The 21-year-old Australian only needed one and a half month to do so. An interview, taken right after today's game.

Zong-Yuan was born in Beijing and grew up in Coffs Harbour, Australia. He became an IM when he was fourteen years old. Despite his studies (medicine) and the small number of really strong tournaments in Australi?ɬ´, he managed to improve considerably in recent years.

The first grandmaster tournament he ever played was the First Saturday Tournament in Budapest, in December 2007. He immediately scored his first norm, and an impressive tournament victory at the same time. Same story early January in Mondariz (Spain): a tournament victory and norm no. 2. He was a reserve for Corus group C, and could have played there if only he had been in Wijk aan Zee on the first day. Instead, he went to Gibraltar and wham, third norm is in the pocket! In April, his rating will be above 2500 and so he'll be awarded the GM title at the next FIDE Congress. In doing so, he overtook David Smerdon, who also has three GM norms but needs to win some more rating points.

Here's an interview with Zong-Yuan and Ian Rogers, Australia's first GM (now retired) who is in Gibraltar as a journalist and a coach.

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