Caoili reigns supreme in Oceania chess zonals

Written by Ian Brion / Reporter
Monday, 29 June 2009 19:23

FILIPINO-Australian Women International Master Arriane Caoili went undefeated to rule the women’s division of the World Chess Championship Oceania Zonal 2009 last week at the Outrigger Twin Towns Resort in Gold Coast, Australia.

The 22-year-old Caoili, who once donned the Philippine tricolors, won seven matches and settled for a draw in her two other assignments to amass a nine-round Swiss System aggregate of 8.0 points that put her atop the 18-woman field.

Seeded No. 2 in the tournament, Caoili began her campaign by beating No. 10 Luthien Russel of Australia, No. 8 Vivian Smith and No. 4 Sue Maroroa of New Zealand and No. 7 Sally Yu also of Australia.

In the fifth round, she drew with top seed Irina Berezina, before resuming her winning ways by trampling No. 5 Emma Guo, No. 15 Tamzin Oliver and No. 6 Vaness Reid.

With victory secured, Caoili settled for a draw with Sarah Anton in the final round.

The former Dancing with the Stars contender finished a whole point ahead of Berezina and two points ahead of third-placer Maroroa.

Reid (5.5), Anton (5.0), Guo (5.0), Jessica Kinder (5.0), Judy Gao (5.0), Yu (5.0) and Tamzin (4.5) rounded up the top 10.

It was Caoili’s first major triumph since shunning competitive chess to concentrate on her studies.

Caoili represented the Philippines in the 35th World Chess Olympiad in Bled, Slovenia, in 2002.

In June 2006 Caoili caught the attention of the British media after it was reported that British Grandmaster (GM) Danny Gormally punched Armenian GM Levon Aronian in a Turin nightclub during the Olympiad. Gormally apparently became jealous when he saw Aronian dancing with Caoili.


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