CHESS

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODTO DO -

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.

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