O2C Doeberl Cup 2008

Hellenic Club, Canberra, March 20-24

While most of the interest is focused on Melodi Amber in Nice, we would like to bring more attention to the Australian chess circuit, consisting of two consecutive tournaments – O2C Doeberl Cup and Syndey International Open.

Launched on 1963 and being held every year since, Doeberl Cup is the longest running chess event in Australia. In order to preserve the tradition, tournament is still bearing name of its longtime patron Erich Doeberl, even though O2C is the current sponsor and will continue to run the tournament until the year 2012.

This year’s event is taking place on March 20-24 in Canbera, with 9 rounds of FIDE/ACF rated swiss to be played over the course of 5 days. The venue is luxurious Hellenic Club of Canberra. Time control is 90mins+30secs and one of the most important rules is that “Draws by mutual agreement in under 30 moves are not allowed without the agreement of the arbiter. No pre-arranged / tacit agreements to draw are allowed (of any length, by repetition or otherwise). Genuine draws by repetition or stalemate are acceptable.” (from the official website).

OlympusRoom AUS

Playing venue at the Hellenic Club of Canberra

The 2008 Doeberl Cup consists of Premier Event, Major Event and Minor Event, depending on the player’s rating, each one of them to accept up to 80 participants. Top rated is GM Zhong Zhang (2617) of Singapore, but there will be more strong Grandmasters in the competition: Vadim Malakhatko (Belgium 2600), Varuzhan Akobian (USA 2599), S Ganguly (India 2579), Gawain Jones (England 2562), Merab Gagunashvili (Georgia 2553), Dejan Antic (Serbia 2480) and Darryl Johansen (Australia 2475).

WGM Li Roufan from Singapore and WGM Anna Zozulia from Belgium, spouses of Zhang and Malakhatko, are top rated female players.

GM Ian Rogers, who won the Doeberl Cup for the record 12 times, will not compete because he retired from tournament play. But the event won’t go without him as Ian will be there to provide live commentary for the audience in other rooms.

Total prize fund is $16.800 AUS, distribution can be found on the official website.

Our friend Amiel Rosario will be playing in the Major Group. He promised live blogging from the playing hall, so keep an eye on The Closet Grandmaster blog for updates. More info about the Sydney International will be posted in following days.

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