Round 6 of the MCC Open had a certain sense of deja vu about it. There was a tournament earlier in the year (the MCC Championship) where Dusan Stojic was leading the field by a point, with Guy West a point behind, after unexpectedly dropping a point earlier in the event. Dusan & Guy were then paired against one another, with Dusan having the while pieces & Guy managed to win a hard-fought game after employing an unorthodox opening. Both players then went on to win their remaining games & finished =1st in the tournament (although Dusan later won a playoff for the title). Round 6 saw the first of these events happen once again, although this time Guy employed a slightly more orthodox opening as black (although hardly something that could be called 'main line') to once again defeat Dusan Stojic, to join Dusan in a share for the lead. The second board game between Ari Dale & Jason Chew is to be played later in the week, and this game will see the winner joining Guy & Dusan in equal first (or if it is a draw, both players will be half a point behind), so the top prize is still very much up for grabs! Other games saw Mehmedalija Dizdarevic beat Mirko Rujevic to be half a point behind the leaders, while Carl Gorka, Malcolm Pyke, David Beaumont & Richard McCart are all a further half point back on 4/6 after winning their round 6 games. The higher rated players did not have it all their own way, with Richard McCart, Jim Papadinis & Andrew Louis all recording wins against higher rated opposition.
As usual, results are available on ChessChat.
The Stojic-West clash is the obvious choice for the game of the round, with the game fairly evenly balanced for much of the opening. The first sign of trouble for Dusan, according to Fritz at least, was after 27.Rc2, when Guy started to develop a strong initiative, which ultimately became a decisive advantage.