Round 6 of the Melbourne Cup Weekender at the Melbourne Chess Club saw a change in the lead, when Luke Li beat James Morris on top board. This allowed Luke to become the leader by himself with 5.5/6, with James being joined by Max Illingworth & Dusan Stojic in second place on 5/6. A number of players were absent on day 4, with the Monday not being a public holiday, so the large number of players who took half point byes were mostly doing so due to work or school commitments!
Of course the round was not without upsets, which included Max Chew Lee beating Andrew Footner & Paul Cavezza beating Mehmedalija Dizdarvic, while Chris Kolak held Stephen Solomon to a draw, Gary Bekker drew with Colin Cloudsdale & Vishal Bhat drew with Geoffrey Hilliard in other results that did not go entirely according to rating.
The top board clash between James Morris & Luke Li
An exciting tactical slugfest between Karl Zelesco & Dusan Stojic
Another interesting tactical battle, this time between Mukesh Krishnamurthy & Tristan Krstevski
Round 7 saw Luke Li consolidate his lead with a draw against Igor Goldenberg, while Max Illingworth & James Morris played a fighting draw to remain half a point behind Luke, while Bill Jordan beat Dusan Stojic to join the two IMs half a point behind the leader.
There were plenty of upsets on other boards as players started to tire after their fourth day of chess! Paul Cavezza beat Andrew Footner, Geoffrey Hilliard beat Mehmedalija Dizdarevic, Dai Cheng beat Daniel Dobos, Bobby Yu beat John Beckman & Juan Carlos Ospina Alfonso beat Mukesh Krishnamurthy, while Max Chew Lee held Bill Kerr to a draw, Gary Bekker drew with Dimitry Partsi, Finey Dale drew with Michael Addamo, Ray Yang drew with Jason Chew, Heath Gooch drew with John Wildes & Vishal Bhat drew with Calvin Bennett.
An exciting draw between IMs Max Illingworth & James Morris
Another exciting game between young talents Ari Dale & Karl Zelesco
A great example of the attacking potential in the Sicilian Defence by young Jack Puccini against Sam Low
A tactical slugfest between Stephen Solomon & Anthony Hain