Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Title Norms at the O2C Doeberl Cup

As has been previously reported, title norms could not be earned at this years Doeberl Cup due to the fact it was only a 7 round tournament. Although it has been suggested that the tournament should be a 9 round event, up until now this hasn't been attractive for one important reason. The number of overseas and titled players taking part has been too low to make a player earning a title norm at all likely.
However this years event has shown that it is now possible, assuming that the Doeberl Cup/Sydney International Open double continues to attract overseas visitors. And if both tournaments do, then FIDE even relax the requirements for players to play 4 overseas players from at least 3 federations. These requirements are waived for events containing at least 10 GM's/IM's and 20 international players.

In anticipation of this, the Doeberl Cup officials paid close attention to which players would have a reasonable change of scoring a norm, if the tournament did run for 9 rounds.The two players "most likely" turned out to be IM Stpehen Solomon (GM Norm), and Junta Ikeda (IM norm).
In Solomons case the following results were required. If he scored 2/2 in the last 2 rounds he needed to play two opponents with an average rating of 1901. 1.5/2 then 2140, 1.0/2 then 2383, 0.5/2 then 2567, and 0/2 then 2770.
Clearly the last outcome was unachievable and getting two opponents averaging 2567 unlikely, but the other three results seem likely to me.
Ikeda was even closer to his norm, and indeed had achieved it over 7 rounds. For a 9 round norm he needed the following: 2/2 - 1805(!), 1.5/2 - 2048, 1.0/2 - 2233, 0.5/2 - 2435, 0/2 - 2602. Assuming that both Solomon and Ikeda would have received highly rated opponents in the theoretical round 8, I would be reasonably confident that both would be able to score at least 1/2 and earn a norm.
A couple of other players were also in with a chance of norms, most notably David Smerdon, although he would have needed 1.5/2 or better to achieve his third GM norm.

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