Friday, 5 January 2018

2018 Australian Championship - Day 4

GM Max Illingworth continues to lead the 2018 Australian Championship after beating IM Ari Dale, scoring his 5th consecutive win. Under pressure from Illingworth, Dale risked everything with a speculative rook sacrifice which was ultimately unsuccessful. Close behind Illingworth is GM Anton Smirov who found IM James Morris' king a juicy target. Tomorrow the two leaders face off in a game that will have a significant say in the final outcome of the tournament.
Further down there were a few tragedies, with FM Tim Reilly unable to avoid a stalemate trick from Sam Asaka, despite being a piece up in the ending, while IM Gary Lane found almost the only move that gave GM Moulthun Ly a forced mate in an otherwise drawn ending.
The Resrves sees 4 players now sharing the lead, with Vishal Baht, Tom Slater Jones, George Lester and Pieter Berkins all on 4.5/5. Bhat and Berkins meet on the top board, with Lester and Slater-Jones playing on board 2.
The final round of the Classic is being played tomorrow, with David Lovejoy leading on 5.5/6. He plays John Redgrave who is 5 points, while Daniel Malamed and Peter Wilson (also on 5) play on the second board. Obviously a win for Lovejoy makes him outright first, while any other result could lead to a tie at the top.

Russell,Paul - Shi,Eric [B01]
2018 Australian reserves (5), 05.01.2018

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