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Zong-Yuan Zhao
Z Zhao 
Photo by Frank Hoppe 

Number of games in database: 322
Years covered: 1998 to 2022
Last FIDE rating: 2524 (2545 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2592
Overall record: +135 -84 =95 (58.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 8 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (33) 
    B42 B30 B40 B81 B90
 French Defense (28) 
    C11 C02 C18 C00 C05
 Ruy Lopez (16) 
    C78 C99 C80 C95 C67
 French (14) 
    C11 C00 C10 C13 C12
 Nimzo Indian (12) 
    E21 E54 E52 E32 E50
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (7) 
    C99 C95 C93 C89 C96
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (32) 
    B33 B47 B78 B30 B31
 French Defense (21) 
    C05 C18 C15 C01 C11
 King's Indian (12) 
    E92 E67 E62 E63 E94
 Ruy Lopez (11) 
    C69 C85 C91 C78 C65
 French Tarrasch (8) 
    C05 C07
 Queen's Gambit Declined (7) 
    D31 D38 D35
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Z Zhao vs Brian Thomas, 2001 1-0
   Z Zhao vs M Pacheco, 2006 1-0
   M Morris vs Z Zhao, 2011 0-1
   Z Zhao vs Korchnoi, 2008 1-0
   S Wastney vs Z Zhao, 2001 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Euwe Stimulans (2008)
   Australian Championship 2001/02 (2002)
   Australian Masters (1999)
   Australian Championship 2005/06 (2005)
   Gold Coast International (Parkroyal) (2000)
   Australian Open (1999)
   World Junior Championship (2001)
   Turin Olympiad (2006)
   Khanty-Mansiysk Olympiad (2010)
   Calvia Olympiad (2004)
   Gibraltar Masters (2008)
   Dresden Olympiad (2008)
   Baku Olympiad (2016)
   Batumi Olympiad (2018)
   Chennai Olympiad (2022)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   2010 Surfer's Paradise open by gauer

   🏆 Chennai Olympiad
   Z Zhao vs Zino Veleshnja (Aug-08-22) 1-0
   V Onyshchuk vs Z Zhao (Aug-07-22) 1/2-1/2
   P Koykka vs Z Zhao (Aug-06-22) 1/2-1/2
   Z Zhao vs S K Mousavi (Aug-05-22) 0-1
   Z Zhao vs L Lenaerts (Aug-02-22) 1-0

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Zong-Yuan Zhao
Search Google for Zong-Yuan Zhao
FIDE player card for Zong-Yuan Zhao

(born Jun-26-1986, 37 years old) China (federation/nationality Australia)

[what is this?]

Australia's top player and a Grandmaster since 2008.

The 2001 Australian Junior Champion and 2010 winner of the Australian Grand Prix, Zhao is currently Australia's top player. He became Australia's youngest IM at the age of fourteen (gaining the title when he finished second in the 2000 Oceania Zonal tournament held in Auckland, New Zealand), and Australia's youngest GM at the age of 21. He won the 2007 Oceania Zonal outright with 7/9 points to qualify for the World Cup (2007) in Khanty-Mansiysk, where he bowed out in the first round after being defeated by Magnus Carlsen.

Zhao performed strongly in late 2007 and early 2008, winning three GM norms in the space of seven weeks. This included winning the Saturday GM Tournament (category 8) in Budapest in December 2007 and the 7th International Festival - GEMA CERRADO GM - in Pontevedra in Spain (a category 9 tournament) which was staged after Christmas 2007. He completed his third GM norm at Gibraltar Masters (2008) when he defeated Gildas Goldsztejn. He also defeated eventual tournament winner Hikaru Nakamura in their individual encounter.

On returning to Australia, Zhao continued his good form in the Sydney International Open tournament held in late March 2008, by coming equal first with Surya Shekhar Ganguly, Zhong Zhang, and Gawain Jones with a 7.0/9 result and a 2637 performance rating. In August 2008, Zhao won first prize at the Category 9 2nd Euwe Stimulans Tournament in Brazil with 6.5/9 and a 2608 performance rating. In 2010 he won both the NSW Open and the Australian Championship, the latter with a rating performance of 2772, and tied for first (third on tiebreak) in the Sydney International Open with Dejan Bojkov and Gawain Jones. In 2011, he came =3rd in the Surfers Paradise Open with 7/9, =1st in the 2011 Australian Open with 8.5/11 and won the 2011 Oceania Zonal tournament in Rotorua, New Zealand, with 8.5/9 (drawing with 13 year old FM Bobby Cheng) and a 2743 rating performance, thereby qualifying for the World Cup (2011), in which event he was beaten in the first round by Russian super-GM Evgeny Tomashevsky. He came =2nd-7th in the 2011 edition of the Sydney International Open, a half point behind young up and coming Indian FM Khamparia Akshat, and =3rd in the NSW Open held in Sydney in June 2011. Zhao has played in five Olympiads for Australia, in 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010, the last two being on top board. In 2011 and 2013, he played in the Chinese League. 2012 saw Zhao place =2nd behind Darryl K Johansen at the Australian Championship with 7.5/11, =2nd at the NSW Open and outright 1st with 5.5/6 at the 2012 Gold Coast Open. 2013 has seen him place =2nd at the Australian Championship behind 15-year old Bobby Cheng.

2013 started with =7th and a relatively rating-neutral 6/9 at the annual Doeberl Cup in Canberra and a similar 6/9 result and rating effect at the 2013 Sydney International Open. Soon afterwards, seeded number 10 in the Bangkok Open 2013, he won that event outright with 7.5/9 (+6 =3) ahead of the likes of Nigel Short, Levente Vajda, Jan Gustafsson and Humpy Koneru. In April 2013, he scored 7/7 at the MCC Anzac Day Weekender. He also participated in the Chinese League 2013, playing top board for his team Hebei which came 10th out of 12. Zhao finished the final round with a flourish defeating Chinese wunderkind Wei Yi. He was =2nd in the 2014 NSW Open and =3rd in the Australian Open held in January 2015.

Zhao's peak rating was 2592 in March 2010.

Wikipedia article: Zhao Zong-Yuan

Last updated: 2022-06-26 07:34:56

 page 1 of 13; games 1-25 of 322  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Z Zhao vs A Volokitin  0-1431998Wch U12B81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
2. Radjabov vs Z Zhao  1-0281998Wch U12A04 Reti Opening
3. Z Zhao vs A Kulashko  1-0421999Oceania Zonal TtB40 Sicilian
4. Z Zhao vs M Haag  0-1811999Australian OpenB30 Sicilian
5. T Christensen vs Z Zhao  0-1181999Australian OpenE94 King's Indian, Orthodox
6. Z Zhao vs G Saw  1-0281999Australian OpenB01 Scandinavian
7. D Stephson vs Z Zhao  0-1531999Australian OpenE60 King's Indian Defense
8. Z Zhao vs N Speck  1-0291999Australian OpenB02 Alekhine's Defense
9. Z Zhao vs M Chapman  ½-½321999Australian OpenC56 Two Knights
10. C Laird vs Z Zhao  1-0401999Australian OpenA49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
11. Z Zhao vs G Canfell  1-0211999Australian OpenB40 Sicilian
12. R W Smith vs Z Zhao  ½-½361999Australian OpenC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation
13. Z Zhao vs G Lane  0-1411999Australian OpenC51 Evans Gambit
14. Z Zhao vs D Smerdon  0-1331999AUS-ch U18C13 French
15. Z Zhao vs D K Johansen 0-132199937th Doeberl CupC02 French, Advance
16. Z Zhao vs J Harp ½-½59199937th Doeberl CupC02 French, Advance
17. S Sarai vs Z Zhao  1-055199937th Doeberl CupB18 Caro-Kann, Classical
18. M Zdravkovic vs Z Zhao 0-124199937th Doeberl CupB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
19. Z Zhao vs S Davies  1-080199937th Doeberl CupC02 French, Advance
20. Z Zhao vs K Corker  ½-½26199937th Doeberl CupB30 Sicilian
21. Z Zhao vs D Smerdon  0-1411999Gold Coast opC02 French, Advance
22. S J Solomon vs Z Zhao  1-0431999Australian MastersC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation
23. D J Hacche vs Z Zhao  ½-½461999Australian MastersD02 Queen's Pawn Game
24. Z Zhao vs T Reilly  ½-½561999Australian MastersC11 French
25. M Rujevic vs Z Zhao  1-0671999Australian MastersC89 Ruy Lopez, Marshall
 page 1 of 13; games 1-25 of 322  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Zhao wins | Zhao loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-30-08  Ken MacGillivray: Congratulations to Zhao for achieving his 3rd and final GM norm at the Gibralter chess congress. This is great news for Australian chess.
Feb-01-08  the bad bishop: Amazing result. Congratulations!!!

Below is an excerpt from the report on abc news online:

<Not only is the 21-year-old student the youngest player to ever become a Grand Master <read Australian>, but he achieved this feat in just seven weeks, when the process usually takes years.

He hopes hoped his achievement will help raise the profile of the sport in Australia.

Australia's first ever Grand Master, Ian Rogers, was at the Gibraltar Tournament when Mr Zhao gained the title by defeating French Grand Master Gildas Goldsztein.

Mr Rogers says becoming a Grand Master is no easy feat.

"You need a series of world class performances and Yuan has achieved them in seven weeks, it's a record," he said.

"No one has ever scored three Grand Master results in such a short period of time. It's absolutely incredible.

"In fact, in Decemeber he played his first ever Grand Master tournament, he won it. His second one, he won that as well.

"[He is the] first player in history to win the first two Grand Master tournaments he's played in and this tournament in Gibraltar's been a bigger open tournament with many more Grand Masters in it, but he came through.">

Fantastic achievement.

Feb-01-08  Prugno: Looks like it was really a good tournament for the Chinese in Gibraltar... not only for the ones who still represent their country like Bu but even for those who have moved abroad a long time ago, such as Zhao.
Mar-26-08  supertimchan: Who wins more games between Zhao Zong Yuan and Ian Rogers?
Jul-30-08  twinlark: Zhao recently published an article about how he came to accumulate three GM norms faster than any else has ever done.

No small part of this was due to Magnus Carlsen , who Zhao played and lost to in the first round of the World Cup last year.

Zhao commented in a recent article he wrote for the <Australasian Chess> magazine that when he left Australia for the World Cup and subsequent chess competitions in Europe last November:

<I felt even to collect one norm in the four or five European tournaments I was about to take part in can be considered a huge success...>

Zhao played and lost both games against Carlsen in the first round, his first encounter with "an absolute chess elite", and gave the business end of the score of both games in his article. He goes on to write:

<At this point, the reader probably feels a little puzzled thinking why have I just shown two such dramatic games in which I lost? Actually, I joined Magnus Carlsen and his family for dinner after the game and I learnt so much about chess in general. I don't mean of course that I learnt some technical things but the brief contact with him left a very positive impression on my play in the following months. Magnus Carlsen was of the opinion that I already had sufficient chess strength to make my grandmaster dream come true very soon...>

Thus inspired, Zhao went on to win the three GM norms as described in his bio.

It just goes to show how a senior grandmaster can influence the young player, even if that young player is older than the grandmaster!

Well done, Zhao, and an inspirational story that reflects very well on both you and Magnus Carslen.

Sep-09-08  supertimchan: That is total rubbish. Zhao had taken so many years to become a grandmaster, which is not impressive at all. If he can become a grandmaster around the age of Carlsen did, then he did a good job, otherwise he is just a regular grandmaster.
Sep-10-08  twinlark: <supertimchan>

<That is total rubbish.>

What exactly are you talking about?

Are you saying that anyone who's not Carlsen is <just a regular grandmaster>?

Sep-10-08  Manic: <supertimchan>

1. There are about 600 GM's in the world. Becoming one takes a lot of work. It is considered to be equivalent to around 8 years of study.

2. Australia is a country which does not put as many resources into chess as others do. To become a GM in your 20's is a remarkable feat.

3. Zhao has rarely played overseas until a few years ago (I think). His primary concern, I believe, is his university degree. He only plays part-time.

4. Zhao was 21 when he got the GM title. Taking into account the above, are you calling that regular?

5. Zhao has performed incredibly considering the above. He has so far won his first 3 GM round-robins he has participated in. That has never been done before in the history of chess. He also achieved his GM norms within 2 months, which shows remarkable consistency.

6. The phrase <regular GM> is in my opinion kind of an oxymoron. No GM is "regular". I know the title is much easier to get nowadays, but I don't think that Zhao would still be called a "regular" GM.

Sep-10-08  Manic: And yes, I am Australian, so call me biased if you want =P, but I believe my opinion would represent the view of a majority of chess followers.
Sep-10-08  Where is my mind: Latest tournament win for GM Zong Yuan Zhao was in Brazil when he played in the 2nd Euwe Stimulans Tournament

Sep-29-08  gazzawhite: <Manic> Yes, Zhao is doing a Pharmacy degree at Sydney Uni. As I'm sure you know, even the best Australian chess players need to find other ways to get an income (or they would have to live overseas). It actually is pretty incredible to think that even though he plays in few international tournaments, Zhao does so well.

BTW, how did chessgames find Zhao's world ranking (of 344)?

Jul-18-09  kurtrichards: Born in China and ended up playing chess in Australia. Hmmmm...
Jan-13-10  redwhitechess: and winning the 2010 Australia Championship.
Jan-13-10  ozmikey: Congrats to Zong-Yuan on a great win and a magnificent score. It was a close race with George Xie until the end...George will surely be our fifth GM before long!
Jan-14-10  brucejavier: congrats Zhao Zong-Yuan on winning the australian championship 2010 and a performance rating of 2772!! keep up the good work!
Jan-14-10  whatthefat: Brilliant performance indeed: +9 =2 -0.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: Australian championship 2-13 January 2010, final ranking crosstable after 11 Rounds:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: Placed 3rd today in Sydney Open, after a 15-move draw in last round vs GM Gawain Jones:

Jan-30-11  Ken MacGillivray: With a round to play Zhao has a score of 7.5/8; 1.5 points clear of the field in the 2011 Oceania Zonal tournament being played in Rotorua, New Zealand, thus securing first place. Congratulations Zhao.
Jan-31-11  twinlark: Congratulations to Zhao for winning the Oceania Zonal, and winning it decisively with 8.5/9.
Apr-21-13  twinlark: Congratulations to Zhao Zong-Yuan for winning the Bangkok Open 2013 outright!
Apr-21-13  Ken MacGillivray: Excellent result for Zhao, winning the 2013 Bangkok open outright with an undefeated score of 7.5/9. Congratulations on another very impressive performance.
Jun-26-13  BIDMONFA: Zhao Zong-Yuan

ZHAO, Zong Yuan

Jun-26-13  The Last Straw: 生日快乐🎂
Aug-24-20  PieceWorker: Zong-Yuan played chess at the
Coffs Harbour Chess Club (at age 11).
He was already an outstanding player.
His parents still live in Coffs Harbour.
I am proud to say that I have played chess against this great champion. PieceWorker - Coffs Harbour - NSW - Australia.
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