Original Article: https://globalchessnews.com/down-to-the-wire-saopen22
Rounds 9 and 10 have concluded meaning we have a single round left to decide the SA Open Champion.
Mathematically speaking there are only 4 players who still have the chance to be called the SA Open Champion.
FM-ELECT Michael Simpson
A surprise entry indeed considering the field! Currently, Michael Simpson is the sole leader with 8,5 points just half a point ahead of second and third place.
His current form has seen him win 7 games, 3 draws, and 0 losses so far. The three draws were all against theInternational Masters partaking in this event.
His last round will be against FM Calvin Klaasen another player who has been an elite chess player in South Africa for a while.
Now a draw doesn’t guarantee him the title as the people behind him seem to be having better tie-breaks so it’s a must-win scenario.
IM Daniel Cawdery
Current SA number 1 according to ratings both National and International. Daniel Cawdery hasn’t lost a game so far with 6 wins and 4 draws to his name.
His Round 10 results might have been disappointing as he drew against a 1900-rated player. This draw means that he is half a point behind Michael Simpson.
The only way Cawdery can hope to win the title is if he wins his next round, and prays that Michael does the opposite.
Whilst this might sound easy, his next opponent is FM Banele Mhango for those who know this name Lso know it won’t be easy.
IM Dante Beukes
Dante Beukes also hasn’t lost a game. At some point, he was even the sole leader of the event.
On his way to 3rd place in the current standings, he won 6 games and drew 4 games.
Just like Daniel Cawdery he needs a win and a prayer to ensure that the players ahead of him lose or draw.
His next opponent also won’t be an easy task as he takes on CM Keith Khumalo.
IM Watu Kobese
Watu also joins the list of players who haven’t lost a game in this event.
He has an outside chance of winning, though it’s still there. For him to win this event he has to pray that everyone ahead of him suffers their games.
Since Michael Simpson is a full point ahead, Watu also needs prayer for a better tiebreak. On his way to 7,5 points, Watu won 5 games and also drew 5 games.
According to rating, he has the easiest opponent amongst the top 4 as he takes on Lutho Mfazwe.
I am placing my bet on Michael Simpson to probably become the youngest SA Open Champion(anyone who has stats please send them)
This has been an amazing performance from the young champ and he deserves the win.
Whilst there are no norms available, there are rating points that will contribute to him achieving his FM title.
Current Standings: http://chess-results.com/tnr654683.aspx?lan=1&art=1&rd=10&fed=RSA
Last Round Games Link: https://lichess.org/broadcast/sa-open-2022/round-11/CYTpVuyR