Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Round 9 - and Ker Makes 5

Scott Wastney defeated the New Zealand number 1 Anthony Ker in round nine, and thus increased his winning streak to five in a row, against some of the brightest names in New Zealand chess. This last game was an intensely fought battle on the queen side which eventually simplified down to a Rook and pawn ending. Scott had a powerful passed pawn on the c file and Anthony's King was stuck on the back rank. Another impressive win by Scott.
His nearest challenger, Ben Hague, only managed a draw against Mark van der Hoorn so the gap has widened to 1.5 points, with only 2 rounds to go. And all the highest rated players have played each other now, so theoretically their games should get easier.
Brian Nijman got a good result to defeat the reigning NZ Champion Mike Steadman, but I haven't seen the game yet so cannot comment on it

Leading scores after 9 rounds:
Scott Wastney 8/9
Ben Hague, Ewen Green 6.5/9
Bob Smith 6/9

Thanks to Matt Veldhuizen for the pictures below, taken in the analysis room - click on the image to make larger

Andrew McIntosh and Alanna Chew Lee

Bill Forster and Helen Milligan

In the Major Open there were mostly draws at the top, only Timothy Rains managing to sneak up a notch, with a win against Layla Timergazi. Going into the penultimate round we have Edward Rains and Max Chew Lee neck and neck for the title, with these necks being breathed down by Jack James and Timothy Rains

Leading scores in the Major Open:
Max Chew Lee, Edward Rains 7/9
Jack James, Timothy Rains 6.5/9
Ross Jackson, David Paul, Simon Lyall 6/9

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