For some people of course the most important consideration is the title norm. In fact all four players who achieved norms had them after nine rounds. Rui Gao GM norm and title. He was previously 2500+, so should be awarded the title soon.
Xiaobung Gu IM norm | Johannes Kvisla IM norm | Francis Rayner IM norm
This was a large number of norms since only 84 players entered and only 74 finished. Of course many people were unwell this year. This isn’t normal for Hastings. You can find all the final ranking statistics here. Amusingly, the players with the highest Tournament Performance Ratings were both fillers, who played just two games and won both. That was Richard Almond and me. TPR is a clumsy tool, used primarily for publicity purposes.
Not much went on in the Sumets-Jones game. So it was an early bath for both, leaving Gawain waiting around to see whether anybody would join him in a tie for first place.
Sulskis-Vovk saw an interesting pawn sacrifice on move 15. By that I mean I didn’t understand it, or what its purpose was. It all fizzled out quite rapidly into a bishop of opposite colour endgame. Black remained a pawn up, but it signified nothing.
There was quite a lot of chess played in Gao-Hawkins. After 9 rounds this was the Chinese player’s final norm. Often people in this position play badly. But that didn’t apply here. Again the game petered out into a draw.
The Estonian Kaido Kulaots mounted a fierce attack on Gu’s king. This was one of the few games where the GM showed his true ability.
Keith Arkell uncharacteristically went wrong in the middlegame to give himself the worse endgame. I don’t know whether it could have been held.
Francis Rayner had achieved his IM norm with a round to spare. Perhaps he lost his concentration at one stage to drift into the inferior position. Or perhaps Hjorvar Gretarsson simply outplayed him. Anyway, it doesn’t signify much whether a player gets a 9 or 10 round norm. This was the first-ever norm for the local professional pianist.
Daniel Leal could have reached 7 points and a tie for second place. As it was he and Gudmundur Kjartansson fought each other to a standstill.
1st Gawain Jones 7½/10 £2000. This is a low score with which to win an open Swiss outright.
2-9= Rui Gao, Hjorvar Gretarsson, Jonathan Hawkins, Kaido Kulaots, Sarunas Sulskis, Andrey Sumets, Daniele Vocaturo, Andrey Vovk 7/10 £406.25 each.
Xiaboing Gu & Chelsie Monica Sihite 6/10 shared the highest placed female prize of £200
Adam Ashton 6½/10 highest placed player neither an IM nor GM £200