Day 3 finally saw an outright leader emerge in the tournament, with IM Max Illingworth beating fellow Olympiad representative Stephen Solomon in the morning & the Luke Li in the afternoon to be a point clear of the field on 5/5.
Round 4 saw a fairly convincing win on board 1 by Max Illingworth over Stephen Solomon, while Luke Li beat Domagoj Dragicevic to join Max in the lead. Karl Zelesco played a nice tactical game to beat George Xie, while other upset wins were recorded by Jack Puccini, Alanna Chew Lee, Marko Grabovac & Ray Yang. Dusan Stojic also played an interesting game against Chris Kolak, giving up his queen for three minor pieces & ultimately the three pieces were enough for Dusan to secure the win.
In between rounds, a sausage sizzle was enjoyed by many of the players.
Round 5 saw Max Illingworth take the outright lead with a win over Luke Li in a topsy-turvy game, where Luke won a pawn in the early middlegame, but Max generated counterplay, before reaching an ending where both players had two rooks & a knight each. Max managed to get his rook active & Luke was unable to find a suitable defense. Karl Zelesco continued his good start to the event with a win over Dusan Stojic, while Mirko Rujevic got some measure of revenge against Jason Chew, after Jason had surprisingly beaten him in the MCC Open a few weeks earlier. Most other games were won by the higher rated player, although Tanya Kolak did manage a good win over John Wildes, while David Lovejoy, David Beaumont & Matt Radisich were able to hold their higher rated opponents to draws.
Results & Pairings are available on ChessChat.
I have decided to include two games of the day in the absence of photos.
The first is Karl Zelesco's round 4 win over George Xie, where various tactics on the d-file worked in his favour to win a piece, which he duly converted to a win in the ending.
The second game is the top board game from round 5, which saw Luke Li win a pawn reasonably early in the game, before Max Illingworth generated counterplay with his rooks & knight. Ultimately Luke was unable to find a suitable defense & Max won the game to take the outright lead.