Several months before the event begins, the Queenstown Classic (main eventJanuary 15th-24th 2009) has had entries from an impressive tally ofoverseas Grandmasters and Women Grandmasters. Entrants include GM Eduardas Rozentalis (Lithuania), English GMs Gawain Jones and Peter Wells, and Australian GMs Zong-Yuan Zhao and Darryl Johansen.
The top-ranked entry to date is GM Victor Mikhalevski (Israel), rated 2597.
Also playing is the former German blitz champion, GM Klaus Bischoff, while creating added interest is the entry of several young WGMs (Women Grandmasters).
Queenstown incorporates the 116th New Zealand National Championship, and is an event open to all players, of any strength. The tournament winner (of any nationality) will be crowned the 2009 New Zealand Open Chess Champion. The top-placed New Zealand player will become the 2009 New Zealand Closed Chess Champion.
A ongoing list of entrants to date is now being posted to the Queenstown Classic website – http://www.queenstownchess.com/
PHOTO: German Grandmaster Klaus Bischoff, one of the confirmed Grandmaster entries for Queenstown 2009