Wednesday, June 6, 2012

City of Melbourne Open round 6

The current Monday night tournament at the Melbourne Chess Club, the City of Melbourne Open, had its sixth round last Monday. And there will be 2 weeks before round 7 as the MCC takes a break to allow its players to enter the Victorian Open which is being held at Box Hill Chess Club over the upcoming Queen's Birthday Weekend. The sixth round was unusual as the leader of the tournament, Ari Dale, was unable to play as he was competing in Asian Amateur Championships in Sydney (good luck Ari!). So Ari took a half point bye which guaranteed that by the end of Monday night he would be in joint first position at the worst with 5/6. There were 3 players on 4/5 hoping to catch Ari. Justin Penrose was the only one to win and he joins Ari in the tournament lead.

I find myself half a point behind the 2 leaders along side Malcolm Pyke. I played perhaps my best game of the year so far to beat Laurent Michaille, while Malcolm won against David Beaumont to leapfrog over him in the tournament. I guess that next round will see Ari playing Justin on top board while Malcolm and I will be playing on board 2. That may cause a further clarification of the positioning of this tournament. Of course, should the top boards end in draws, there is a big group of players just behind. Besides David Beaumont and Rad Chmiel (who lost on the top board to Justin Penrose), Paul Kovacevic and David Lacey also move to 4/6 just a point behind the 2 leaders. And a further half a point behind sees Richard Voon, Laurent Michaille, Peter Fry and Anthony Hain (Anthony is having another solid tournament and seems to be trying to round out his playing style which has previously been very aggressive). It seems to me that all of these players could have hopes of a high position in the tournament with 3 rounds still to go.

Anyway, with a break for the Vic Open everyone has time to work out their plans for the next round. Good luck to all players from MCC who are participating in the Victorian Open! Actually I just noticed the MCC chess calendar does not have a week's break for the Vic Open, though arbiter Kerry Stead announced that there would be no play in the City of Melbourne Open next week. I believe Kerry, but I'll try to confirm whether there is any chess this Monday.

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