The work seems to have been done for the leaders going into the rest day as on the fourth day of play, Round 7 only saw one decisive result when top seeded Filipino International Master Oliver Barbosa again took sole lead with a win over Vietnam’s International Master Nguyen Van Huy.
That left him on 6 points and just one more draw needed to complete the Grandmaster title requirements which he duly accomplished with a short draw in Round 8 against Malaysian International Master Mas Hafizulhelmi.
With successive draws in Rounds 7 and 8, Uzbekistan’s Jahongir Vakhidov who has now completed the International Master title requirements now only needs a draw in the final round to achieve his first Grandmaster norm.
The most watched encounter of the day came in Round 8 when International Masters Richard Bitoon and Arghyadip Das played each other needing a win to keep their hopes of the Grandmaster title alive and while the Filipino will have one last chance tomorrow if he wins, their draw has mathematically ended the talented Indian’s slim hopes.
1. Barbosa 6.5/8; 2. J. Vakhidov 6; 3. Bitoon 5.5; 4. Das 5; 5. T. Vakhidov 4.5; 6. Goh 3.5; 7. Nguyen VH 3; 8. Nguyen AD 2.5; 9. Mas 2; 10. Wong 1.5.
Raja Nazrin Shah Invitational Masters report by Peter Long
Round 8 video by Vijay Kumar