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2011 King's Cup Commentary: Round 26
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Two more rounds to go, and three players remain in contention to face Komol Panyasophonlert (THA) in the finals. Siu Hean Cheah (SGP) plays Nigel Richards (NZL) at Board 2, annotated. If Cheah wins, he's in. Alastair Richards (AUS) plays Tony Sim (SGP) at Board 3. If Alastair loses, he's out. Neither happens, so the excitement continues.
We now have three players at 18-8: Cheah +1691 Nigel +1209 Alastair +1109. Cheah plays Nigel; Alastair plays the leading 16-10, Charnrit Khongthanarat (THA). If Cheah wins, he advances to the finals. If Nigel wins, a Richards (they're not related) will advance to the finals, but which? Nigel has exactly 100 points on Alastair, so that's how many more points Alastair needs to outscore Charnrit by than the number by which Nigel beats Cheah. I'd give Nigel a 50% chance at this point, Cheah 40% and Alastair 10%.
The scrum by the electronic scoreboards is chattering excitedly away in English, Thai and Japanese. I hear someone point at Komol Panyasophonlert's (THA) box and say "(words I don't know in Thai) ... Komol Gibsonized ... (more words I don't know in Thai)".
With Komol playing Bob Jackman (AUS) this round (Bob has no hope of reaching the 10th place prize money), excitement shifts to Boards 2 and 3. Siu Hean Cheah (SGP) leads Alastair Richards (AUS), Nigel Richards (NZL) and Tony Sim (SGP) by two games and a boatload of spread. It's all KOTH from here on. If Cheah beats Alastair and Thacha beats Nigel, Cheah may be Gibsonized based on the 350-point/game spread limit. More likely, Cheah will either lose to Nigel and have to play him again, or win againt Nigel and play Alastair or Nigel.
What happens? Cheah and Nigel win, and Nigel wins huge: 630-399. Now we have Cheah 18-7 +1792, Nigel 17-8 +1108 and Alastair +1032. Tony at 16-9 +815 is not out of the running, but Charnrit Khongthanarat (THA) +404 is extremely unlikely, and Thacha is eliminated.
It takes a while to get players back to play, as they all want to talk about what's going on at the top.
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