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Despite Fressinet and Sargissian both winning their last round game, a draw was enough for Harikrishna to take the title on tiebreak. So Harikrishna, Fressinet and Sargissian share 1st place with 7/9, followed by Short and Howell on 6.5/9.
Jovanka Houska takes the Ladies' prize with 5.5/9.


A full report of the last round and closing ceremony will follow tomorrow.


Fiona Steil-Antoni

While yesterday we had only 3 draws on the first 10 boards, today we had only 3 decisive results on the first 17 boards! There is no denying the players are getting tired, but they will undoubtedly all be eager to give it their all in today's last and all-important round.

Yet again, no quarter was given during yesterday's 7th round, as from the first 10 boards only 3 games ended in a draw.

During yesterday's 6th round, we were treated to a galore of decisive results on the top boards! From the first five boards, only the board 4 encounter between Granda and Sargissian ended in a draw.

Yesterday's 5th round was marked by draws on the first four boards. But while boards 1 and 2 were rather uneventful draws, boards 3 and 4 provided some of the most interesting battles of the day.

Yesterday's round was marked by the tournament moving to the Villa Marina's magnificent Royal Hall, which means that all three sections of the tournament are now playing under the same roof. It is not every day that chess players get to fight out their games in surroundings like these...

In the top board encounter of yesterday's round, Grandelius and Harikrishna treated us to a crazy and interesting game, which eventually ended in a draw. On board 2 Fressinet duly converted his two extra pawns when Timman's attack didn't lead anywhere, while on board 3 Sargissian pressed for a long time, but had to settle for a draw against Kuzubov in one of the last games to finish.

During yesterday's second round we got a demonstration of the advantage of the white pieces on the top boards. Indeed, in the two all-English clashes on boards 1 and 3, Adams and Howell were both held to draws with Black, by Arkell and Gormally respectively. On boards 2 and 4, Harikrishna and Fressinet, who were both playing with the white pieces, scored two crushing wins against Vishnu and Hebden.

This year's PokerStars Isle of Man International Chess Tournament is not just the strongest open tournament ever to be held in the British Isles, but also one of the strongest worldwide. The tournament features two Top 20 and eleven Top 100 players, as well as numerous top women and junior players.

As opposed to last year, when I was only a spectator of the combined chess and poker tournament, I decided to fork out £165 in order to be in the thick of the action this time around. While watching this innovative event had proven highly interesting and entertaining a year ago, witnessing it first hand was both a different and exciting experience altogether.


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