The open section attracted 125 entries and was intended for players rated below 1900. It was played at 90 minutes per player for the game. The top two seeds were Jason Subke (1862) and Clive Mthunzi (1831) and they both reached 4 out of 4 with little trouble. However, Jason could only draw with Mpho Mshope in round 5, so he was half a point behind when the top two duly met in round 6. A tough positional game saw Jason a pawn down in a Rook and pawn ending as time ran short -
|Subke vs Mthunzi, Black to move|
|Clive Mthunzi with Sayen Naidu|
|Jason Subke with Sayen Naidu|
The FIDE section was very interesting, with 7 titled players competing. Obviously grandmaster Sipke Ernst was the favourite to win, but who would finish second, and who could take a draw from him? The standard FIDE time control of 90 minutes plus 30 seconds increment was used, but Sipke played very fast and had all his opponents under pressure. I was very impressed by his willingness to discuss his games and explain his moves afterwards.
All of the games in the FIDE section - 97 games (PGN) - were captured by me, so you can replay the moves at your leisure. I will just highlight some of the moments from Sipke's games:
|Johannes Mabusela played 8.b4 here vs Sipke Ernst|
The closest anybody came to a draw against him was in round 6. It looked like Corno was better for much of the game, and this was the critical moment when the endgame was lost:
|Corno Klaver vs Sipke Ernst, White to play|
The most brilliant game of the tournament was unquestionably Sipke's win against Joseph. Here is the game with some variations added with the help of my favourite chess engine!
|The start of round 5, Sipke Ernst vs Joseph Mwale|
|Adrian Chappell 3rd place with 5/7 was a surprise|
|WIM Jesse February with WCM Karmishta Moodley|
|GM Sipke Ernst with IA Chanda Nsakanya|
|The Ethekwini Open floating trophy|