— from Mark Jordan
In the last installment we reported that Keith Arkell had reached 5/6 in the 50+ and was about to face GM Mohr (2443) in Round 7. Unfortunately for his hopes of at least repeating the success of his Silver medal last time, Arkell lost against a player who is clearly on form. Therefore, to keep his chances of a medal alive, Arkell needed a win in Round 8. This was not to be, and he suffered another loss, this time at the hands of GM Ivanov (2506). If he finishes strongly he still has a chance of a medal but this is a big ask given his present position in the rankings and with only three rounds to go. If he doesn’t win a medal he at least has some compensation in the form of a win, on a tiebreak with Mohr, in the Seniors Blitz event which took place on the first rest day.
The battle for the first is proving very competitive with no-one managing to break clear of the pack. After round 8 Nikolic, tournament favourite and former World Championship Candidate, is in the lead on 6.5/8 with GMs Rosentalis, Ivanov and Mohr in hot pursuit on 6/8.
Of the other English participants, Meyrick Shaw is having a very good tournament with a performance well above his current rating and a score of 4.5/8. Brian Hewson is on 3.5/8 and Owen Phillips 3/8.
The leader in the 65+ tournament is third seed, GM Okhotnik, on a very impressive 7.5/8. The English participants are giving a good account of themselves with FM Jackson on 5/8, CM Ashby and Myall on 4.5/8 and Farrand and Reynolds on 3.5/8.