Monday 2 April 2018

2018 O2C Doeberl Cup - Day 4

The race for first in the 2018 O2C Doeberl Cup looks like it is down to 2 players. GM Timur Garayev and IM James Morris share the lead with 7/8, although a 5 way tie for first is a remote possibility. Morris closed the gap on Gareyev by beating IM Junta Ikeda and GM Deep Sengupta in rounds 7 and 8, while Gareyev started with a win over IM Igor Bjelobrk before drawing his round 8 game with GM Ahbijit Kunte.
The final round (in progress as I type this) has Gareyev against top seed GM Qun Ma on board 1, with Morris against Ke Mu on board 2. The pairing gods were very unkind to both these players, as both would have had chances for a title norm if Morris had faced another Gm, and Ke Mu had been paired with a non Australian player. As it stands, neither player can now score a GM (for Morris) or IM (more Ke Mu) norm.
In the Major event, the just started Round 7 has seen a 'Hou Yifan' moment with one game beginning 1.Nf3 e5? 2.Nxe5 Qh4 3.Nf3 Qxf2?? 4.Kxf2 Black was checkmated soon after.

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