first as tragedy, then as farce!
The arbiters at the Queenstown have decided to petition FIDE to declare the diagrammed position an automatic loss for both players. For the second time in 3 rounds, the final game to finish involved a R+N v R ending. The first instance involved Junta Ikeda winning it against Nadig Kruttika. Kruttika tried hard to defend but succumed on move 46 of the 50 move count.
Tonight saw GM Zhao Xue try and do the same against Max Illingworth, after Illingworth lost control of a better position and surrendered a piece and 3 pawns to reach the R+N v R ending. However Max defended the position quite well and it seemed the only point of interest was how long would it take Illingworth to reach 50 moves. Once he reached move 148 (when he could claim a draw) we waited, and then waited and then waited some more. The game continued on, with no claim from either player. We began to think we would be there all night, when finally the draw claim was made, by Illingworth. The exhausted arbiters let out a sigh of relief, and the draw for round 8 was soon completed.
You can see the full game, as well as the tournament standings, at www.queenstownchess.com