Sunday 12 January 2020

2020 Australian Championships - Day 10

While GM Temur Kuybokarov has one hand firmly on the Australian Championship trophy, there is still a chance it won't be the only one.
In the penultimate round of the Championship, Kuybokarov played it safe, agreeing to a draw with WGM Jillin Zhang in a position where he was slightly worse. On board 2 IM Junta Ikeda defeated FM Jack Puccini in a very sharp struggle, and now only sits a point behind Kuybokarov. This means that Ikeda has to beat Cameron McGowan and hope that FM Kevin O'Chee scores an upset win over Kuybokarov to finish in a tie for first. However, based on results (and form) in this event, this is an unlikely outcome.
IM Igor Bjelobrk is now in outright third after beating McGowan, while IM Brandon Clarke moved into 4th place with a tough game against FM Michael Kethro. There were a total of 5 queens used in this game, with Kethro promoting once, and Clarke twice! The loss means Kehto gets the final bye of the tournament, although this will leave him on 6/11, with an outside chance of a prize.
In the Reserves tournament Kevin Sheldrick scored his 9th win in a row, and only needs a last round draw to win the tournament outright. Even a loss is good enough for first, albeit a shared first with Ross Lam, who he plays tomorrow.
As it is the final day, tomorrows round begins at 1030 local time. The overall tournament results should be known mid afternoon, with the prize giving ceremony at 4pm.

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