The top 2 seeds of the event, FM Jack Puccini, and IM Mirko Rujevic both won to stay within a point of me. I was sitting next to Jack who played the Najdorf against Mehmedalija Dizdarevic. Dizdarevic chose 6.Bg5 and Jack sacrificed a pawn to completely unbalance the position. The game was sharp, with play on both sides of the board, and somehow Dizdarevic found himself with an advanced passed h-pawn, much like in the Poisoned Pawn variation of the French Winawer. A blunder cost him that pawn, and then the game. Meanwhile the veteran IM Rujevic, was playing another veteran in Richard Voon who had been having an excellent tournament. Mirko won, but was "lucky" according to Richard. I can't say I saw much of the game, just a mess of a middlegame at some point. Whether Mirko was lucky or not in the game, he won which he does more often than not.
6/8 FM Puccini, IM Rujevic
5.5/8 Schmidt, Cannon, Nguyen
5/8 Dizdarevic, Pyke, Voon, Lacey, Krstevski, Yu
It has been a good tournament for juniors David Cannon and Tristan Krstevski and Bobby Yu who find themselves among the leading places. David is the highest placed player below 2000, while Tristan is leading the under 1900 category with Richard Voon. Bobby is the current leader in the under 1750 category.
The rating prizes are all based on FIDE ratings which means in the under 1600 category the leading score is 3/8 with 7 players sharing that score. Simon Dale, Tanya Kolak, Zhi Xin Guo, Natalie Bartnik, Tanya Krstevska, Edwin Zou and John Beckman. It makes for an interesting final round!
I was very happy with my endgame.
Here's the game, which might give some players inspiration for a crazy line to play against the Sicilian Sveshnikov. Enjoy!