In what could have been an interesting night with the top 8 players facing one another, the sudden absence of Billy Lo and Seth Levine, and consequently the respective “wins” for Aravind Mahadevan and Alberto Muniz, who came for nothing, was disappointing. It is not good for the Hong Kong chess scene, fragile in various ways, that such things happen rather frequently.
Numbers 1 and 2, Caissa’s David Garceran Nieuwenburg and Chun Keung Yeung did show up. Although C.K., with white, tried to simplify the position by trading most of the pieces, his two knights that remained on the board were too weak to defend a weakened queen side pawn formation and to handle David’s bishop and knight heading towards that direction to reap havoc there.
Number 3, Luen-Wah Luk (FM) played against the just-turned 12 year old number 5, Michael Yang. Luen-Wah found a way to penetrate the white fortress along the h-file and Michael could not hold the position when both black rooks and the black queen were moving about the second and third ranks.
Ian Scott, with white, faced Caissa’s Peter Walley’s Scandinavian and although Peter damaged the white position considerably in the middle game, Ian somehow managed to maneuver his heavy artillery onto the black’s king side with a winning attack.
Finally, in the top half of the ranking, Sydney Lai started a wild looking offensive that overwhelmed Jake Chan’s black pieces and puts Sydney back in the top 4.
Next week we’ll see David and Alberto play for the first spot with still good chances for all players in the the top 9 to stay in the race.