Round 7 saw Guy West retain his half point lead over Ari Dale, after both players drew their games (against Chris Wallis & Domagoj Dragicevic respectively), however the chasing pack one point behind Guy now has three & could have as many as five players, with a number of postponed games to be played in the coming days. The top board clash between West & Wallis had some interesting moments, with Guy initially employing a 'checkers' pawn structure, with most of his pawns on white squares. After some exchanges, a number of these moved to black squares, before ultimately the players found themselves in a queen & minor piece ending. Early in this ending, it seemed like Guy had the initiative, but once Guy declined a queen trade, Chris' queen invaded Guy's position & in combination with his knight pair created some serious problems for Guy. Ultimately these problems allowed Chris to win a pawn, but his king was exposed & Guy found a perpetual check, so the game was drawn.
Domagoj Dragicevic played a Grunfeld against Ari Dale & Ari seemed to get the better of the opening initially, however Domagoj found a nice tactic to win a pawn, before Ari repeated positions to draw the game. Justin Tan beat Justin Penrose to stay in touch with the leaders, while Laurent Michaille also won his postponed game to join the group of players on 5/7 who are still in with an outside chance to place highly in the tournament.
Most of the other games this round went according to rating, which was a bit of a surprise!
Results for round 7 are on ChessChat.
Below is the game between West & Wallis.