The penultimate round of the Melbourne Club Championship saw Dusan Stojic & Guy West solidify their lead with wins over dangerous opponents. The most dramatic game of the night was the clash between Ari Dale & Mirko Rujevic. Ari managed to get some pressure on the kingside after achieving a slight plus from a relatively tame opening & managed to win a piece for a few pawns around move 40. Ari continued to improve his position & after capturing the d5 pawn, looked to have the game sewn up! Of course Mirko, in spite of body language that might have suggested otherwise, continued to fight on & created a passed pawn on the queenside before pushing his passed kingside pawns. With time trouble a constant pressure, Ari played some inaccurate moves & after Rujevic found the surprising Ra1, the tables were turned & Rujevic went on to record a come-from-behind win!
This leaves West & Stojic on 7/8, a point clear of Rujevic, with the last round pairings being Stojic-Rujevic on board 1, with Gorka-West on board 2. The winner of the tournament will be one of these players, with a tie a very realistic prospect. In terms of rating groups, Richard Voon leads group A on 5.5/8, but is only half a point clear of Karl Zelesco, Ari Dale & Anthony Hain. Group B is lead by Roger Beattie & Marcus Ogden on 4/8, with Kevin Brown, John Beckman & Alex Kaplan half a point behind. This should make for a very interesting final round, with the title, places and rating groups all up for grabs!
As always, results for the round are available on ChessChat.