So the early winners of the night included Gary Bekker, who's opponent called in about half hour before the round was due to start to say he couldn't play tonight. Charlotte Dilnutt also won, but had to wait the full 30 minute default time before knowing her opponent wasn't going to show up. Anthony Hain's opponent called in sick about 30 minutes before the game, but Anthony sportingly agreed to be re-paired against Ruben Nowak who was due a bye.
The first game to finish on the night was the top board affair which was not exactly the most exciting finish to the tournament. Jesse Jager needed half a point to ensure a victory and offered a draw after 9 moves which were Kerry Stead agreed to. Tournament over, congratulations to Jesse for winning the event, and Kerry needs to wait to see if he finishes equal second, third, or equal third.
Half way through...
About an hour and a half through the session and things are heating up. John Dowling has sacrificed an exchange against Justin Penrose in a typical Dragon type position. It is utterly wild. Ari Dale is fighting a typical Grunfeld against Michael Addamo's centre. Richard Voon has an IQP, but plenty of activity against Peter Fry. Thai Ly has 2 bishops against Jim Papadinis. Philip Drew has a shocking bishop, but some good major pieces against Paul Kovacevic. Roger McCart is continuing his good tournament, 2 pawns up against Michael Hain, while James Martin and Alex Kaplan are a pawn up.
On to some concrete positions:
Some results in the meantime: Anthony Hain beat Ruben Nowak, Roger McCart won against Michael Hain, and Phillip Drew and Paul Kovacevic was a draw.
The third hour:
Justin Penrose wins!! Justin guarantees himself outright second with an excellent victory against John Dowling, both players displaying excellent fighting spirit. Rad Chmiel also wins, and we now have only 5 games left:
Addamo-Dale: a complex Grunfeld middlegame that I cannot judge....I have no idea!
Voon-Fry: Q+R+ 5 pawns each, probably a draw, though Richard seems to have a little initiative.
Ly-Papadinis: Thai Ly is 2 pawns up, and looks to have this ending in the bag
Stone-McCart: Ian Stone has the 2 bishops, but the position is half closed. Ian is better, but is it enough to win?
Puccini-Frantzeskos: Robert Frantzeskos is a pawn ahead for no compensation. Jack is beginning to mass pieces on the king side to try to drum up some counterplay.
Thai Ly has won, but there are still 4 games left, with 2 interesting endings:
Addamo-Dale is simplifying with Michael maintaining his pawn edge. However, with bishops of opposite colours that may make the drawing chances higher. The game Voon-Fry hasn't moved far since the above diagram, though Peter is down to 1-2 minutes, and his scoresheet is getting quite messy. Ian Stone is wirking hard on the pawn endgame but that hasn't moved too far either. I would love to analyse this endgame when they've finished with it. The last game however has taken a dramatic turn, as Jack Puccini has somehow ended a piece up against Robert Frantzeskos. I'm not sure how this happened, but Jack is in the box seat now and has more time on the clock.
Jack Puccini and Ian Stone both score full points which leave the 2 games in the top room still in progress. Michael and Ari are both looking tense and it could swing either way. Michael still has an extra pawn, but it isn't clear how he can make use of this at the moment. Richard Voon is also a pawn up, but has his pieces in a bit of a tangle. Peter Fry has a mate threat on the board and his queen and rook are generally becoming very active.
It's a win for Addamo! Michael jumps into equal third in the tournament. That leaves just one game which has reduced to a pure rook ending. Both sides have 2 pawns, but Richard still has the initiative. I think it will end a draw, but most of my predictions have gone astray tonight.
That's it for this tournament. The results will be posted on the MCC website as soon as the event is finished, and sent to the ratings officers immediately the final game finishes.