Friday, February 25, 2011

MCC Championships Round 3

The third round of the Club Championship was the most competitive so far with a number of draws and hard fought games throughout the draw. From round 3 only 2 players come through with a perfect score. Bobby Cheng was able to wear down Richard McCart, threatening on the king side, though eventually making his breakthrough on the queen side. Richard suffered under cramped conditions for most of the game. Joining Bobby on 3/3 is Guy West who seemed to drop material against Domagoj Dragicevic, though he created some threats to his opponent's king which weren't dealt with. Guy won his material back and took the full point. These players couldn't have had more different games, as Guy has been lost in 2 of his 3 games so far while Bobby hasn't seemed to have been troubled yet.

Darryl Johansen is a welcome addition to the MCC scene bringing the kudos of a GM to the event. Dusan Stojic  was probably happy with his draw against the GM though he was technically better when the draw was agreed. Chris Wallis tried a host of tricks to try to tackle Justin Tan's queen side in a Slav type structure. I haven't looked too deeply at things but Chris was a piece down for a while, though Justin evidently felt he couldn't hold on to the material and gave it back to reach a drawish endgame. I also have difficulty understanding the Jager-Morris game, though once again, I haven't looked at it too deeply. Pyke and Rujevic also shared the point relatively early.

Lower down the boards, Anatoli Sirota has won his last 2 games after his shaky draw in the first round, and now sits just behind the leaders. There are then 18 players on 2/3 including ex champion IM Mirko Rujevic. The next couple of rounds should see a major sorting out, and that will just leave the race to the finish. And while much of the talk around this championship has been about its strength, I would also like to point out that it is easily the biggest field of recent years and there will be some rating prizes to fight for. At the moment, the rating groups haven't been announced, but the top under 1700 players are Richard McCart, Ari Dale and Karl Zelesco which is great for Richard who is a stalwart of the club, and for Ari and Karl, 2 of Victoria's promising young players.

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