Saturday 20 April 2019

2019 O2C Doeberl Cup - Day 2

The second day of any Doeberl Cup is when the tournament really kicks into gear. All 4 events (Premier, Major, Minor and Mini) are running simultaneously, which means over 250 players all gathered in the one room. In past years this has resulted in some organisational headaches, but this year everything is running much more smoothly.
The Premier is of course the main focus of the weekend, and adter 4 rounds there is a 5 way tie for first. WGM Padami Rout, GM Deep Sengupta, FM Raymond Song, GM Anton Smirnov and GM Darryl Johansen are all on 3.5/4. The standout performance from this group is FM Raymond Song, who is already well placed for both an IM and GM norm. His current TPR is just above 2700 and more importantly, he has already played the right mix of titled and overseas players. He is playing GM Anton Smirnov in the 5th round, and a win or draw would leave him well placed for the rest of the event.
There are a number of strong players still with a chance on 3 points, including top seed Hrant Melkumyan. Melkumyan was held to a draw in round 3 by young FM Jack Puccini, but returned to the winners list in round 4, beating Canberra junior Albert Winkelman. One other player of interest on 3 points is FM Jason Hu, who won his 4th round game against IM Stephen Solomon.
The Major and Minor got of to their predictable starts, with a large number of upsets on the top boards. The top 4 seeds in the Major scored a combined 50% against there lower rated opponents, while the top 10 seeds in the Minor did a little better, scoring 60%.
Tonight is the traditional Doeberl Lightning, which starts at 7pm. This event will be FIDE rated for the first time, and organisers expect around 100 players for the 9 round event.

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