The City of Melbourne Open at the Melbourne Chess Club is now reaching the climax of the event. There have been 6 of the 9 rounds played and the clear leader on 5.5 is FM Domagoj Dragicevic. Domagoj had won the battle of the titled players when he beat FM Greg Canfell in round 5. I'd like to see the end of this game which was an opposite side castling Sicilian from what I remember. By the end of the round, there were 3 players sharing first place, Domagoj and juniors Vishal Bhat and Ray Yang. It has been really good to see the growth of junior chess at the MCC over the past 5 years. Junior successes such as IM Ari Dale and FM Jack Puccini are now being followed by the likes of Vishal and Ray, as well as Bobby Yu, David Cannon and Tristan Krstevski. With these strong young players around, the MCC appears to have a bright future!
Domagoj took clear first in round 6 when Vishal and Ray drew. Domagoj won against Tom Kalish to take a half point lead with 3 rounds to go. Greg Canfell bounced back to win in round to become the third player half a point behind the leader. A further half a point back are Malcolm Pyke, Tritan Krstevski and Mehmedlija Dizdarevic. Mehmedalija is at the other end of the age spectrum in retirement age. In round 6 he smashed me in the biggest upset of the round and followed that up with another good win against Justin Penrose. It's hard to see the winner of the tournament coming from below this group, though with 3 rounds to go, anyone who scores well can finish in a high position.
Some other results that are worth mentioning over the past couple of rounds. Juniors beating adults: Ray Yang beat Malcolm Pyke, Tristan Krstevski beat Thai Ly, and Christopher Lim scored an excellent win against Tony Davis in round 5, while Jody Middleton held Kanishka Premathilaka to a draw also in round 5. In round 6, MCC Vice President, Simon Dale scored a good win against Roger Beattie.
The sad news from my point of view is that my last game caused me to have a splitting headache, so I took a bye in round 6, but still don't feel fully recovered, so I might not be playing any more games in this event. I'm taking things week by week to see if I'm improving, and then I'll start playing again. I'll keep blogging about it, and wish every one in the tournament good games, and hope that you all get full enjoyment from the competition.