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Top 500 Race Tightens

The pitched battle between Mark Itabashi and Chris Compton for 2013 Barry Crane Top 500 honors drew closer on Monday as both players continued non-stop play on opposite ends of the country.

It is unlikely that the race will be settled today.

All totals are unofficial because some results may be unreported. Points won in online games do not count in the Top 500 race.

Itabashi, of Murrieta CA, started Monday with a lead of 34.36 masterpoints and added 25.30 in two events at the Reno Holiday Regional, giving him an unofficial total of 2743.60. Meanwhile, the Dallas-based Compton scored 39.46 masterpoints in three events at the Myrtle Beach MABC New Year’s Regional to get to 2723.40. The difference is just 20.20 MPs.

Both have limited options as the year comes to a close.

In Myrtle Beach, Compton will have the choice of playing in either of two single-session games – pairs or teams. A four-session KO starts in the afternoon and concludes on Wednesday. If Compton enters the KO and his team makes it to the semifinal round and loses, his option would be one session of a side game. Only section placing masterpoints would be available to Compton from that event.

Out in Reno, Itabashi has one option – the Strati-Flighted A/X Swiss Teams, but the payoff for a win would likely top 20 masterpoints.

Compton, 2011 Top 500 winner, has been in the hunt all year. Itabashi committed to going for his first Top 500 crown after racking up 326.70 masterpoints at the 2013 Summer NABC in Atlanta and 215.68 at the 2013 Fall NABC in Phoenix.

Itabashi and Compton played 11 sessions each in the seven-day Western Conference Holiday Sectional Tournament at Clubs that started a week after the Fall NABC ended. Itabashi earned 51.97 points in the STaC to 49.22 for Compton.