Round 7 looked to be a very exciting round on paper, and in many ways it delivered on its potential. Board 1 was where the excitement was, with Justin Penrose castling queenside in a Caro Kann & launching an attack on the uncastled king of co-leader Ari Dale. Just when it looked like Penrose might be making some progress, he played an inaccurate move that allowed Dale to consolidate his position & steer the game towards a winning ending. This allowed Ari to return to once again become the sole leader of the event. Other boards saw a variety of results. The highly anticipated Gorka-Pyke clash was a non-event, with neither player in the mood to play for a range of reasons, with the game ending peacefully on move 15 (with checkmate threatened!). The game between Lacey & Beaumont began peacefully, but became dramatic when Beaumont started to get on top in the position. Rather than defend passively, Lacey launched a counter-attack against Beaumont's king, sacrificing two pieces to try to get at Beaumont's king. Beaumont then put his king on the wrong square, going to e7 rather than g7 & Lacey was able to force a draw with perpetual check. Paul Kovacevic appeared to be cruising towards a win against Rad Chmiel, but went horribly astray in the rook & minor piece ending, ultimately losing a piece. However Chmiel's remaining pawns were difficult to defend & Kovacevic managed to liquidate the position until the final position saw Chmiel with a knight & pawn against Kovacevic's two pawns, with Chmiel unable to maintain his remaining pawn, so another draw was agreed. In other games, Anthony Hain continued another late charge in an MCC event with a win over Richard Voon, while James Martin beat John Dowling & John Beckman beat Gary Bekker.
As usual, results are available on ChessChat.
This week's game sees the top of the table clash between Penrose & Dale. Penrose's attack seemed to be working, until the blunder 22.Bd4, which allowed Dale to get on top & move a point ahead of the the field.