IM James Morris looks well placed to win his first O2C Doeberl Cup after scoring 2 wins in rounds 7 & 8. He now leads the event with 7/8, half a point ahead of GM Surya Ganguly, who he drew with in Round 4. Standing in his way in round 9 is IM Anton Smirnov, who lead the event early, but is now on 6. Ganguly is up against GM ong Yuan Zhao on board 2, while GM Hrant Melkuyan and IM Igor Bjelobrk play on the third board.
Despite Morris' stellar performance, a GM norm is out of reach due to the lack of foreign players in his field. He has only played 3, rather than the required 4, and so the norm does not count. His chances were not helped by the withdrawal of IM Kanan Izzat (AZE), who decided not to continue playing after his round 6 loss to WIM Heather Richards. Richards herself is also having a strong event, scoring 4.5/8 and 2/4 against the IM's she has played.
Today's round starts at 9:30am and you can follow the action through the tournament website www.doeberlcup.com.au