Zhao Zong-Yuan

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Zhao Zong-Yuan
Zong-yuan zhao 20081119 olympiade dresden2.jpg
Full name Zhao Zong-Yuan
Country Australia
Born (1986-06-26) 26 June 1986 (age 31)
Beijing, China
Title Grandmaster (2008)
FIDE rating 2545 (June 2017)
Peak rating 2592 (March 2010)

Zhao Zong-Yuan (simplified Chinese: 赵宗元; traditional Chinese: 趙宗元; pinyin: Zhào Zōngyuán; born 26 June 1986)[1] is an Australian chess Grandmaster. He is the number one ranked chess player in Australia.

Early life[edit]

Zhao was born in Beijing. He grew up in Coffs Harbour, Australia, a pharmacy graduate from the University of Sydney.[2] He has since completed his degree in Medicine at the same university.

Chess career[edit]

Zhao became the youngest Australian international master at the age of 14, and was a member of the NSW Junior Chess League.[3]

Zhao won the 1999 Queensland Under-18 Championship with a score of 8/8 and then finished just half a point behind Darryl Johansen in the Australian Championship proper, ending with a remarkable 4/4 burst. In 2000, he finished second to Aleksandar Wohl in the Oceania Zonal and in 2001 won the Australian Junior Championship. He played in the 2001 British Championship and scored 6/11. In 2004 he won the Doeberl Cup with 6/7 ahead of Ian Rogers, David Smerdon, Johansen and Gary Lane. In 2005 he won the Australian Junior Masters with a 9/9 score. He has represented his country in three Olympiads and in 2006 was on board three.

In January 2007, Zhao won the Australian Open with 9.5/11 points with a 2673 performance rating.[4] In May 2007, he was first at the 2007 Oceania Zonal in Fiji with 7/9 points, ahead of New Zealander Puchen Wang. This enabled him to qualify for the 2007 FIDE World Cup in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia,[5] where he was knocked out in the first round by Magnus Carlsen (0-2). In July 2007, he won the Australian National University Open with a score of 6/7.[6] He won the Oceania Chess Championship again in 2011 with a score of 8.5/9 [7][8] and represented the Oceania Zone at the Chess World Cup 2011 where he was eliminated by Evgeny Tomashevsky.[9]

Zhao achieved all three of the required grandmaster (GM) norms over two months in December 2007 and January 2008. Zhao scored 7/9 earning his first GM norm in the First Saturday chess tournament (1–10 December 2007) in Budapest, Hungary.[10][11] Zhao earned his second GM norm by convincingly winning with 6.5 points the VII Festival Internacional de Ajedrez GEMA tournament (10th category round-robin) which was held from 26 December 2007 until 5 January 2008 in Mondariz Balneario (Pontevedra), Spain.[12] In his third attempt, which was unsuccessful, Zhao played in the 33rd Seville Open/XXXIII Abierto Internacional "Ciudad de Sevilla"[13] (5–12 January 2008) Sevilla, Spain finishing with 6.5/9 points (=10th place). In 22–31 January 2008 he managed to achieve his final GM norm at the 2008 Gibtelecom Chess Festival[14] in Gibraltar. By also achieving a rating over 2500 he thus qualified for the title of Grandmaster. Zhao is Australia's third grandmaster, after Ian Rogers and Darryl Johansen.

After GM Rogers, Australia's previous #1, retired, Zhao played top board in the 2008 Chess Olympiad in Dresden, where he scored 6.5/10 with a performance rating of 2620, the best performance rating of the team.[15] He again played top board for Australia in the 2010 Chess Olympiad held in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia where he scored 5/9.[16]


External links[edit]