|Chief Arbiter Kerry Stead doing a great job at the 2014 Australian Chess Championships|
The leading 3 players in the Championship turned into a leading 2, as Bobby Cheng lost to Max Illingworth. The other leaders, Papin and Ly both drew and are half a point ahead. Max comes up alongside Bobby half a point behind the leaders and also on that score is Igor Bjelobrk (drew with Papin) and Hoang Thong Tu (drew with Ly). There are then a further 11 players within 1.5 of the 2 leaders so with 3 rounds to go, much could happen. Top pairings in the next round:
Perhaps my mind wasn't fully on the chess, but the game that caught my eye today was Morris-Charles. This was nothing to do with the position which was some kind of King's Indian Attack, but the fact that the clock times were about 1:05-3.20 at one stage (or 1 hour 5 minutes to Morris, and 3 minutes 20 seconds to Charles).
Meanwhile in the Reserves, Doug Hamilton continues to dominate with another win taking him to 7.5/8 and a point clear of the rest of the field. David Beaumont and Marko Grabovac are on 6.5 while Milenko Lojanica (Doug's victim today) is on 6. Doug has played all 3 of these players and drops to the group 2 points behind him with Colin Savige his next opponent.
The Challengers also has a clear leader in Calixto Dilag who won again today to take his score to 7/8. Tomorrow is the last round of this tournament and it will be a tense affair as 2 players (Mark Stokes, Zhi Lin Guo) are only half a point behind, and the top pairing sees Dilag-Guo in an exciting tournament decider. Stokes will be working hard on board 2, and hoping to win and a share of the title.
|Spectators today included MCC stalwart Elie Beranjia in his best Hercule Poirot pose :)|