THE SA Closed Championship is promising to deliver a close finish. South Africa’s premier event ends tomorrow at the Fountains Hotel in St George’s Mall.
Thursday’s seventh of 11 rounds saw African silver medalist Henry Steel taking on many times SA champion and tournament leader IM Watu Kobese.
On Thursday, Kobese was leading half a point ahead of Daniel Cawdery with Donovan van den Heever and Steel a half-point further back.
From the games I have seen, there has been a certain lack of fight apparent, with games agreed drawn before the fight has really been engaged.
A report on Chessbuddy noted that in the sixth round, “Cawdery had everything going his way when Bouah was playing to get away from the chess board. Dennis Ovcina, still in euphoria after his victory, could not muster up the energy for another super performance”.
The best game I have seen so far has been Cawdery’s first-round win over Steel, which featured an imaginative king manoeuvre.
The London Chess Classic – the last super grandmaster event of the year – begins today.
The world champion and the four leading players on the world ranking list plus England’s finest, are in the 10-player field.
South African organisers, please note that all the contestants were present when the pairings were drawn by the chief arbiter, Albert Vasse, and tournament director Malcolm Pein on Tuesday.
The event starts at 2pm with Vladimir Kramnik versus Hikaru Nakamura, Levon Aronian versus Luke Mcshane, Magnus Carlsen versus David Howell, and Michael Adams versus Viswanathan Anand.
Nigel Short will assist in the commentary room.
Rules: classical time control 40 moves in two hours, 20 in 1, the 15 minutes to complete the game with 30 seconds increment for each move. Sofia Rules will apply with three points for a win, one for a draw.
The prize prize fund is: 160 000 (R1.7 million) before tax. The six main prizes: 1st 50 000, 2nd 25 000, 3rd 20 000, 4th 15 000, 5th 10 000, 6th 10 000.
Each round will see a daily best game prize of 1 000. There is a winners’ pool of 21 000 for each game won. At the end of the event, a prize will be awarded for each win. Each win will be of equal value. So, if there are 21 decisive games, the prize will be 1 000 per win.
Malcolm Pein reports that the British Rapidplay was won by former SA Open and current Commonwealth champion Gawain Jones, with a 10.5/11 score. Jones conceded just one draw to Turner, who matched his score for the first eight games before drawing the last three to finish second with 9/11.