Another quick report today, as I'm still feeling under the weather. The City of Melbourne Open at the MCC saw the third round last night, and is beginning to set into a routine. It was generally a day that went with the ratings. Only 2 players remain on a perfect 3/3, top seed FM Greg Canfell and talented Victorian Junior, David Cannon. The other games on the top boards finished as draws, with the black players in both games being higher rated, but being held to half points. So Malcolm Pyke, Thai Ly, Mehmedalija Dizdarevic and Ray Yang all finish half a point off the lead, and are joined by the winners from the group below, FM Domagoj Dragicevic, Vishal Bhat and Justin Penrose on 2.5.
There is plenty of talent spread throughout the field, and anyone who makes a reasonable run of wins will find themselves near the top soon enough. For instance, on 2/3 are Hobson's Bay visitors Dean Hogg and Tony Davis, both capable of beating anyone on their day, while I am sitting on 1.5/3 after a not so convincing win last night.
There are a lot of new players to the club, and infrequent visitors who have shown up to play in the City of Melbourne Open. My opponent from last night, Shilong Wang, is a student in Melbourne from China. He was a nice kid with sharp tactical ability but not much practical over the board experience. There are 7 unrated players, and another 8 players below 1600, and then there are a growing number of under rated juniors who have sharp minds ready to pounce on any mistake that their elders might commit. There are close to 10 young players when about 5 years ago you'd have been lucky to see any juniors. While there are only 5 female players playing, that's still a big improvement on the days when there were none coming to the MCC, so as a representative tournament this has everything, old, young, strong, inexperienced, male, female etc.
Next week I'll try to get some interesting positions together. I'm hoping to be feeling better by then!