Thursday 11 January 2018

2018 Australian Championships - Day 9

The 9th round of the 2018 Australian Championship saw wins for the tournament leaders, leaving the places at the top unchanged. GM Max Illingworth seemed to catch IM Kanan Izzat by surprise in the opening, with Izzat thinking for 15 minutes over his third move (and leading GM Ian Rogers to ask me if the DGT broadcast had frozen). As Izzat fell further behind on the clock, his position deteriorated and he went down to a quick defeat.  GM Anton Smirnov beat veteran IM Stephen Solomon in a game which had a long tactical sequence that ended in a winning knight ending for Smirnov. GM Moutlhun Ly had to work a lot harder against FM Brandon Clarke, and was rewarded when Clarke made a fatal mistake in a ending that may have been hold-able.
With 2 rounds to go, Illingworth leads with an impressive 8/9. Smirnov and Ly are a point behind, with IM Ari Dale in 4th place on 6.5/9.
In the Reserves tournament, Willis Lo has taken the outright lead after beating George Lester. Lo, who had applied to play in the championship (along with a few other Reserves players), goes into the last to rounds on 7.5/9, ahead of 5 players on 7.

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