The battle for honours in Southend 2018 is hotting up, even if the weather isn't!
In the Open, at the end of Round 5, there were four players in the lead on 4 points. After Round 6, there are five leaders on 4½ and another five on 4 points; just one round to go. The top pairings are (4½ unless stated), Pert-Cumming,Stoyanov-Brozel, and Eames (4)-Merriman Follow these games live (11.00 am).
The U170, with only four entries, was rescued by convening a double round all-play-all event over six rounds. As there were already multiple requests for a bye in Round 4, the loss of one round was not noticed. Martin Fogg has won this section with a round to spare, having secured 4/5, while his nearest rival, Alex Tsiapouris has 2½/5; they meet in the last round.
In the U145, David Newell leads with 5/6, followed by David Smith and Jeremy Brockes on 4½. The latter are a point clear of five players on 3½. The last round pairings match David Newell v Jeremy Brockes and David Smith v Stuart Ross (3½).
The U120 also has a keen finish in prospect. Essex Junior, Purba Audhora leads on 5½/6, closely followed by Tim Allen on 5 and Jenny Goldsmith on 4½. However, Jenny Goldsmith is "not paired" ín the last round, leaving Purba, playing Black v Levi Weston (4) and Tim with White against Graham White (4) to fight it out.
A quartet of Essex Juniors head the U95 section, led by Christopher Willoughby, 5/6, Olga Latypova, 4½ and Max Pert (Dad is joint lead the Open) and local lad Ethan Yau both on 4. However, with two "not paired" in the last round, in this small section there are only four pairings, giving rise to uneven match-ups. Without wishing to provoke "commentator's curse", we note that the final round pairings favour Christopher.