THE COMMONWEALTH and SA Open Championship is heading for an absorbing climax tomorrow.
The big event at the Boardwalk in Port Elizabeth has seen the contenders for top honours meeting one another after weeding out the “amateurs”.
In Thursday’s eighth round, the top pairing saw the Indian grandmasters Dibyendu Barua and Abhijeet Gupta on 6.5 out of seven playing for the lead.
Top- rated Sergei Fedorchuk (Ukraine) was on six facing Saptarshi Roychowdhury (India).
Also only half a point behind was the leading South African player so far, Daniel Cawdery, but he was Black against the formidable Sergei Tiviakov of the Netherlands.
The most interesting pairing from a South African point of view saw our first IMs Watu Kobese on five against David Gluckman on 5.5.
The Swiss system throws up strange results, such as IM Kenny Solomon languishing on 4.5 behind Daniel Barrish, 12, on five.
But there were four rounds to go, so don’t expect Solomon to stand still.
Daniel is on the same score as another local junior, Paul Darling.
The leading woman was Mary Ann Gomes (India) on six.
On Thursday, she was set to face Vladislav Tkachiev (France).
The players are not only playing for the money but direct titles are awarded for Commonwealth Championship.
The overall winner will receive R40 000 in cash plus a seven-night holiday at a private game reserve in the Eastern Cape.
The organisers have stated that the following titles and norms will be awarded, only applicable to players with the following titles: FM, WFM, CM, WCM, untitled
Male: 1st place (sole or shared): IM title.
Silver and Bronze medallists (not in 1st place and determined on tiebreak): FM title plus IM norm.
Female (best female placing): 1st place (sole or shared): WIM title.
Silver and Bronze medallists (not in 1st place and determined on tiebreak): WFM title plus WIM norm.
Yesterday, players were entertained with lectures by GM Stuart Conquest from England and WGM Soumya Swaminathan from India, the Woman Commonwealth Chess Champion.
After the championship, the top player head for the DSK International Chess Open: International Chess Tournament at the German School in Tamboerskloof from Friday until July 29.
The event is organised by the Zidek family.
Up to 500 players are expected at the DSK International Chess Open 2013.