The first event in the Ethekwini rapid series took place on 4th February 2017 at the Durban Jewish club. Top seed Joseph Mwale secured 1st place by defeating his closest rivals, Wanda Khanyile and Lindo Xulu, in rounds 4 and 5, before coasting to an early draw against Cyril Danisa in the last round. He was followed home by a group of 5 players on 5 points out of 6. Here are the detailed results.
The last game to finish on one of the top boards showed how nervy rapid chess can be:
Black to move and draw
With less than a minute left on the clock, Black started thinking and I expected 1...Rxf4+ 2.Rxf4 Bxf4 3.Kxf4 hxg5+ 4.Kxg5 with a draw. However, Black played 1...Bxf4 and was so surprised by 2.g6! in reply that he resigned! The funny thing is that 2...Rf6 3.Rxf4 Rxf4+ 4.Kxf4 is only a draw, despite what your chess engine might tell you, as the black King gets stalemated in the corner.