Round three saw the surprise defeat of IM Russell Dive to Mark Van der Hoorn who is leading the tournament. Van der Hoorn is the only player in the 109th NZ Championship with a perfect score.
Close behind is National Master Bruce Anderson with two wins and one draw, in round three he defeated the defending NZ Champion, Scott Wastney of Nelson. In round four, Van der Hoorn and Anderson are paired to play one another.
Former NZ Youth representative at the World Junior chess championship, Nic Croad, is showing that he is no push-over among the higher seeded players, in round three he drew with Smith.
Garbett defeated Spain, and Anthony Dowden inflicted another loss on the German player, Martin Haag, who lost to Nic Croad in round one.
Hilton Bennett is playing well above his national rating, with a +1 score. Round three saw his first win of the tournament, on paper defeating Leonard McLaren who is some 341 points higher than Bennett.
Matthew McNabb could not repeat last years draw at the 108th NZ Congress against Anthony Ker of Wellington. Ker won.
At the bottom of the table Litwak, Sutherland, and Giles all picked up draws to give them their first points of the tournament. Brian Jones of Australia is on one point out of three.
The New Zealand Major Open crosstable is starting to show some shape. The strongest performance is being shown by the upper midfield who are all scoring points against the higher seeds.
Arie Nijman (no. 13) is leading the Major Open with Michael Turner of Wellington. Of the top ten seeds, only Michael Turner (no. 1) is at the top with a perfect score - but winning is far from easy in a close fought and competitive tournament. Peter Fraemohs, a former NZ Championship player, Nick Cummings, Craig Hall, David Wood, and Alan Aldridge are close behind with a +2 score.
However, with eight rounds to go, anybody in the top half could win
the NZ Major Open for the year 2001/2002.