After the week off for the Labour Day long weekend (and Ballarat weekender, although I didn't attend it this year) the Autumn Cup resumed at Box Hill on Friday night. Although I was a point clear of the field at the start of the round, I was not going to get an easy game & played recently-titled FM David Hacche (ACF 2086; FIDE 2071). I wasn't quite sure what to play before the game & ended up playing a 'Sniper', which I was unsure about against David, as I know he has played the opening himself from time to time, so the usual advantage of being in a position I would be familiar with, but the opponent less so would not really apply in such a case. The game itself turned into a strange Benko-like position where I felt comfortable with my position, even though the various engines may have not agreed with this assessment of the position. Everything seemed to be progressing fine until move 14, when I played the mistimed Ne5, overlooking David's reply 15.b4! which definitely turned the game in his favour. I thought the tactical solution I tried in the game was my only chance, but it left me with serious weaknesses on the kingside & I failed to find the best defense, which was a bit disappointing & ultimately lost the game without much of a fight.
The loss has left me in a five-way tie for the lead, and I have a feeling that I will get the toughest pairing, with it likely that I will be playing second seed Eugene Schon, as I am the third ranked of five players tied for the lead. However I have not checked the previous rounds to see if there are any pairings that are not possible that might change the pairing I think I might be getting. At least it should make for an interesting final round!
As usual, results are on ChessChat.