Asian Continental edges to exciting finish!
Quick 1-minute Summary
The very strong Asian Continentals are winding up Saturday in Xingtai, China. Five players from the Open section and only one player from the Women’s section will directly qualify for the World Cup slated for later this year.
The Open Section
In this section there are 74 players, including 34 gm’s and 21 im’s. India and China have the largest contingents with respectively 26 players and 24 players. The competition is held over 9 days (no rest day) and the average rating is 2455, making it one of the strongest open tournaments in the world this year!
The number one ranked player, Santosh Vidit, from India, has been finding the tournament tougher than he had probably anticipated. Vidit occupies 12th position with 5 points. He has lost twice so far, first against the prodigy Praggnanandha in round 4, and then against Narayanan in the 8th round.
Vidit is still not mathematically out of the fight for the qualification to the World Cup, but he ABSOLUTELY needs to win his last round game on Saturday — and still pray that some of those ahead of him fall by the side and ruin their Bucholz in the process — in order to have a chance. I’d say a 1% chance…
The Women’s Section
Here we find a total of 36 participants, including 10 wgm’s and 15 wim’s. Once more we find that China and India have the largest contingents, with respectively 9 players and 8 players. Also a 9-round event. The 22-year old star from Kazakhistan, Dinara Saduakassova, has a great 7 points from her first 8 games and finds herself alone in first position.
In the final 9th round on Saturday, however, Dinara will most likely have to atleast draw her game with Black against Munkzhul (rated 2371) because she is only half a point ahead of Irine Sukandar. With only one qualification spot up for grabs, she can not rest on her laurels. Should be an exciting round!
Games will follow soon