Strong nerves were needed to survive the first final round in draughts. Four men were left for the tournament title. Valneris reached a winning position in the normal game but after the game he could pull the hairs out of his head, had he left any because totally unexpected the game ended in a draw. It took the blitz game to get justice. In the other game Georgiev reached an advantageous position which resulted in a difficult long end game. The position was a draw but after six hours and 95 moves, Boomstra made a mistake and Georgiev won.
Therefore Valneris and Georgiev will start playing for the title today. Ndjofang won in the rapid game against Misans and so did Pim Meurs against Amrillaev. In the blitz game Shaibakov beat Dul Erdenebileg. A barrage was needed between Silva and Zhou: Silva won.

In the women tournament the 19 year old Olga Fedorovich set a further important step towards the title winning against the talented Chinese Alatenghua. Darya Tkachenko won a surprise victory against world champion Tanssykuzhina. The 3 to 1 endplay was a solid draw but Tamara made a big mistake. The rapid games brought the other decisions: Nina Hoekman lost against Nogovitsyna and Golubeva built a strong position against Motrichka giving Victoria no chance on a draw let alone a victory. This may bring more drama Thursday with Fedorovich leading with 57 points followed by Golubeva with 50 points and Tkachenko with 47 points. A victory of Tkachenko against Fedorovich will take her ahead of Fedorovich. And of course also Golubeva has her chances but not in her own hands. It will be worth watching.

Wednesday 14 December 2011