The last round of any Swiss is always somewhat artificial, but here there were few bloodless draws. Instead we had the unusual statistic of several Bf5 Caro Kan games on the top boards. But White went down different routes in each case.
Sundar Shyam (6½) v Yue Wang (7) – the young Indian needed a draw for his GM norm. Perhaps Wang took advantage of this, taking some liberties with knight manoeuvres in the middlegame, assuming he could always bail out with a draw offer if things went wrong. But White wasn’t having any shenanigans.
Thus three members of the Indian youth team secured norms as N Krithika Pon gained a WIM norm on a lower board. This probably means we can expect an invasion next year as well.
Yuri Vovk (6) v Babu Lalith 6½) – in this case the Indian had already secured his GM norm irrespective of the result of the last round game. 15 Ng6 looks sparkling, but only leads to equality. It was disappointing that a draw was agreed just as the position began to look exciting.
It is quite common that a player has a let-down after securing a norm, especially the final one. Otherwise, why not play on with the black pieces? Surely the value of winning the Hastings Masters outweighs the risk of losing some money? Anyway, this meant Yue Wang had secured a well-deserved first place outright. He led from start to finish and never looked in serious trouble.
Full report on the official website