Friday 19 April 2019

2019 O2C Doeberl Cup - Day 1

The 2019 O2C Doeberl Cup is underway, with the first day seeing the players from the Premier in action. The slightly smaller field in the Premier resulted in the first days play being a little tougher for the top seeds than in previous years. While round 1 saw very few upsets, the second round saw draws on 3 of the top 4 boards, and only 1 of the top six seeds finishing the day on 2/2.
In the last game of the night to finish, IM Gary Lane resisted the temptation to grab pawns in the ending to draw with top seed GM Hrant Melkumyan.  FM Raymond Song looked better against GM Deep Sengupta on board 3, but Sengupta found the draw in the always tricky Q v Q and Rook pawn ending. GM Anton Smirnov won a knight v bishop ending against IM Stephen Solomon, while FM Jack Puccini upset IM Junta Ikeda in one of the more interesting games of the evening.
Smirnov is part of the leading group on 2 points, along with IM Brodie McClymont, Puccini, IM Padami Rout, GM Darryl Johansen,  IM George Xie, and IM Trevor Tao.
The day got off to a slightly worrying start, when the organising team arrived at the venue to find no tables. A mix up in communication meant a delayed delivery, and a slightly rushed set up. Nonetheless the tournament was started on time, with all but one player present (an overseas IM failed to arrive). Fortunately we were ale to call on the services of 'super sub' IM Vladimir Smirnov, to avoid a first round forfeit in the affected pairing.
Today sees the start of all the other events.With a few last minute entries, the total size of the event is a little over 250 players, which is a good turnout, considering the drop in number for the Premier. All the tournament results and pairings can be found at There is live coverage of the Premier at or and you can follow the link to there from the tournament website. You can see the top games from the boards via the same link, noting that the round 1 games are incomplete at the moment.

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