Round 1 of the Melbourne Chess Club Open got underway with 30 players in a very tough field, headed by IM West, FM Stojic & IM Rujevic. Ordinarily in these events the first few rounds are the 'warm up' for the higher rated players as the 'top half vs bottom half' of the Swiss draw leaves many games with rating differences of over 300 points, where the higher rated opponent is theoretically supposed to score over 85% in their games (meaning that the higher seed is supposed to score 1/1 a vast majority of the time, with each game allowing for results of 0%, 50% or 100%). Although the very top seeds were able to hold their own & keep this theoretical winning percentage in tact, there were a number of upset results in the main tournament room, with Finley Dale, Tanya Kolak & Abraham Widjaja all recording wins against higher rated opponents (rated 291, 466 & 657 points higher in each case!), while Alex Kaplan managed a draw against an opponent 329 points higher rated!
Entry is still open for the tournament, but those wishing to join the tournament for the next round need to contact me by Wednesday to be included in the round 2 pairings.
With MCC webmaster Paul Cavezza playing in the tournament, results are available on both the MCC website & ChessChat.
This week's game is Paul Cavezza's effort against Malcolm Pyke. Perhaps inspired by the recent club championship playoff match, Paul played the Barry Attack & launched a quick attack on Malcolm's king. This initially left Paul with the unusual material imbalance of a queen & pawn for a rook & two knights. Paul appeared to have Malcolm on the ropes (and various chess engines also liked Paul's position once Malcolm moved his knight back to g8) until Malcolm checked Paul's king & it went to the wrong square, winding up in a mating net, where a better king move would have left Paul with a safe king & a strong attack!