With tournament leader Ari Dale away in Sydney playing in the Asian Amateurs (where he is equal leader at the time of writing), this was an opportunity for the other players in the event to stake their claim at a position at the top of the tournament. As it transpired, only Justin Penrose was able to join Ari in the tournament lead, after a nice win in on the white side of an unusual line of the Ruy Lopez. Malcolm Pyke managed to plant his knight on d6 against David Beaumont & managed to survive David's attempts to escape the bind on his position, winning the game & moving himself within half a point of the leaders. Carl Gorka utilised an unusual placement of his bishops (on a1 & b1), as well as his knights & later queen to drum up a winning attack against Laurent Michaille's king, to join those half a point off the lead. On other boards the results did not always go according to rating, with David Lacey beating John Dowling, while John Beckman beat Jack Puccini. Richard McCart also used his 'get out of jail free' card against Gary Bekker, finding a perpetual check when he was 2 rooks down!
As usual, results are available on ChessChat.
This week's game sees Rad Chmiel employ an unusual variation of the Ruy Lopez against Justin Penrose, although it does begin to resemble a more normal Lopez position around move 10. Penrose responded to Chmiel's queenside pressure by sacrificing an exchange & found himself with a passed c-pawn for his efforts. Chmiel then played a few poor moves, allowing Penrose's rook to get to the seventh, and the threats were too much for Chmiel, who had to give up his queen to fend off checkmate, but that still left him with a position he was unable to defend.