Hastings this year produced one of the most uneven contests in its long history. Xie Jun, the only woman player, was the first to take the lead, winning her first two games. After that fine start, however, she could manage only losses and draws.

John Nunn took over the lead when he beat Xie Jun after she had declined a draw. He seemed to be coasting into first place until he lost to Mark Hebden in the penultimate round. With Nunn taking a quick draw in the last round, Hebden needed only a draw himself to finish first alone, but he lost to Eduard Rosentalis of Latvia. Result: a triple tie for first with Nunn, Rosentalis and Hebden all scoring six points.

Further down the field, Michael Adams, after starting with three losses, then three draws, won his last three games to end on 50 per cent.

Meanwhile, in the Challengers' tournament, Luke McShane toiled for six hours in the final round in the hope of scoring the win he needed for his second norm towards the International Master title, but his game with Jonathan Wilson finally ended in a draw. Britain's latest hope for chess glory must wait for his next event to resume his attempt to become our youngest ever Master.

Today's birthday: Luke McShane, chess player, 13.