|Cheng-Choong Rd 1. What did white play? Answer at the end|
I was just spectating, coaching and generally schmoozing and I became tired after about 8 hours at the playing venue so the players have my total sympathy. I didn't stay for the completion of the 3rd round, and unfortunately missed the incident when a bird decided to crap on the board of visiting GM Tu from Vietnam. Apparently the incident caused quite a bit of interest for a while with a crowd gathering around the board. In the end the game continued between Tu and the 2013 Oceania Zonal winner IM Igor Bjelobrk ended in a draw. This was in the third round. Earlier in the day, all 3 Grandmasters won in the second round. Vasily Papin of Russia looks to be in very good form and he won against FM Chris Wallis. He is joined on 2/2 by IM Bobby Cheng (yay for my prediction, though it's early days yet), IM Gary Lane, and IM Stephen Solomon. (Watching live now, I see that Papin beat Lane to go to 3/3 while Cheng Solomon is in progress) The pack on 1.5 included both the other GM's Johansen and Tu. The games can be downloaded from the site and are being uploaded pretty quickly (I helped with some Reserves games today, so they may come online soon!)
The h3 Nxf2 Round
The following 2 positions caught my attention because the same moves happened in them. White thought that a knight on g4 needed to be kicked away with a little pawn move. Unfortunately, the knight didn't need to go back!
The next game which featured the moves h3 Nxf2 was between Gareth Charles and IM Gary Lane.
The Reserves and Challengers also have to play 2 games today. There weren't too many draws in either of these events, which left large groups tied for first, 13 players on 2/2 in the Reserves, and 11 in the Challengers.
Cheng-Choon: Bobby as white played 16.Bb5!? taking advantage of his lead in development. The piece sac may not be 100% sound but it is a great practical decision, forcing his opponent to make a lot of difficult decisions to stay alive, which Choong wasn't quite up to. Check out the game below.