The 1978 South African Open was held in Durban, and also served to
decide the Natal Closed championship for that year. Top placed Natal
player was Peter Abbott, who scored 8½ points from 11 games. Peter
was also the top placed South African player in the event, which was
won by Scottish IM Craig Pritchett on 10/11 followed by Argentinian
IM Raul Sanguineti on 9½ points. Apart from an early loss to Pritchett,
Peter was undefeated, and finished the tournament strongly with wins
over Barlow, Aalbersberg and Price in the last three rounds.
His sole outing in the club championship was in 1978, where he scored 6/9 and finished second behind Andrei Agnew. Peter was a strong blitz player, and regularly reached the finals of the club's blitz tournaments.
Peter emigrated to South Africa from the UK during 1976, and was employed in Durban as a bank official. During 1979 he moved to Johannesburg for business reasons and held a number of senior roles with Standard Bank. He moved to Australia in 1998 ultimately becoming Executive General Manager at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
After a long break, Peter started playing chess again in 2007, coinciding with his deciding to leave the workforce. He plays for the Norths Chess Club in Sydney and is active in local tournaments. His FIDE rating has risen from 1864 in mid-2008 to 1934 in mid-2009.
This was Peter's last round game against Eddie Price: