The final day of the ANZAC Day weekender provided plenty of drama, with a fight to the very end for the minor places (somewhat reminiscent of the Collingwood victory over Essendon, but with less cheering).
Round 6 saw Justin Tan & James Morris continue to distance themselves from the field with wins. Enoch Fan beat Tony Davis to move into third place, while Jack Puccini beat John Dowling. Kris Chan beat Will Bakanursky, while his brother Luis Chan held Jack Hughes to a draw in a tricky opposite coloured bishop ending.
This left Tan & Morris in first & second place, with Enoch Fan just ahead of a huge chasing pack fighting for the minor placings & rating prizes. Both the leaders managed to win their games, which meant that Justin Tan took out the tournament with 6.5/7, with James Morris second on 6/7. Ari Dale & David Beaumont drew their game to both finish on 4.5/7 (as well as sharing the lead in the MCC Grand Prix), but it was Gary Bekker, who beat Max Chew Lee in the final round, who took home third place with 5/7, finishing off the tournament with four wins after a horrible start, proving that the Swiss Gambit is still a viable tournament strategy! Jack Puccini was unable to beat Tony Davis in his quest for a share of third place, and when they agreed a draw, it was Gary who was outright third, with Jack joining a big pack of players on 4.5/7 who finished in equal fourth, just outside the open prizes. 4.5/7 was enough for Jack Puccini & Enoch Fan to share the under 1800 FIDE prize, while 3.5/7 was enough for a share of the second rating division (FIDE unrated), which saw Linden Lyons, Will Bakanursky & Kris Chan collect book prizes. The final game to finish was a tough battle between Tanya Kolak & Alanna Chew Lee, which finished up with Queen & king against Knight & king after Tanya managed to promote a pawn in a tricky knight ending. Although this position is theoretically winning for the queen & king, it is not as easy as it might seem & with her time running low, Tanya missed a knight fork, allowing Alanna to draw the game. A quick check online showed that players in the 2300s have also made the same mistake, so it can be another example of the tricky ending that is good to know, but you will rarely, if ever, get in a tournament game.
The final results, crosstable & list of prizewinners is available on ChessChat.
Next on the arbiting agenda for me is the City of Melbourne Open on Monday nights at MCC, as well as the Victorian Championships (held at Box Hill, MCC & Noble Park on Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays) & Reserves (Thursday nights at MCC), which run over May & June.
The game of the day is the round 6 win by James Morris over Ari Dale, with Morris using a tricky move order (5.Qc2!?) to find himself in a favourable Grunfeld.