São Paulo Continental nears end
Quick 1-Minute Summary
After 9 rounds of play the Venezuelan grandmaster Eduardo Iturrizaga finds himself leading the tournament with 7.5 points, half a point ahead of five others. Two rounds remain. Remember that only the top four places qualify for the upcoming World Cup.
Round X pairings
Eduardo Iturrizago, number-one seed, is perhaps South America’s best ‘Open’ player in decades, having won strong tournaments all over the world. In round 9 Eduardo defeated the Brazilian talent, Alexandre Fier in a complex, but hard fought game, giving the Venezuelan the lead given that his closest rivals all drew.
Meanwhile, our North-American heros, Aman Hambleton and Timur Gareyev, have been having a somewhat disappointing tournament so far, with 6.5 points each. Hambleton is showing signs of lack of practice, losing only once but drawing too often against much lower rated opposition.
Gareyev has also lost once, but drawn too often. Never the less, if they each win the 10th round game, then they will still be in the fight for the top-four places in round 11. Good luck, Gentlemen!
Chess Legend Mecking
Brazilian chess legend, Henrique Mecking, ranked #6 before the start of the tournament, has failed to live up to his millions of fans’ expectations, and appears to be ‘drawing out’ his tournament. Mecking has won 3 games, lost none, but drawn 6, all against much lower rated opposition. Such is the price of not playing often enough!