Round 7 was both the last and the decisive round in this years edition of the Hong Kong Open.
The winner of the match between Alberto Muniz with white and Luen-Wah Luk, both with 5 points and undefeated, would be the winner of the tournament. However, in a evenly balanced end of the middle game with both players just 3 minutes on the clock, Alberto accepted Luen-Wah’s draw offer, hence both players ended with 5.5 points.
On board 2, Caissa’s David Garceran Nieuwenburg, with 4.5 points played with black against Brian Shin with 4 points. Brian cleverly solved David’s rather wild king side assault but could not convert his better position into a permanent advantage. When the position finally cleared up David was a piece up. Brian did not go for a perpetual check option but his attempt to force the matter resulted in his loss. David now joined the ranks of Alberto and Luen-Wah with 5.5 points.
Sydney L.W. Lai, also with 4.5 points could also have ended with 5.5 points if he would have gotten more out of the game against C.K. Yeung than a draw. But C.K. had already proven to be a tough opponent throughout the tournament and the end game looked indeed like both sides were drawishly locked behind their long pawn chains.
Billy Lo and Seth Levine played for a top 5 spot. Billy’s 2. c3 set-up against Seth’s Sicilian resulted in a very equal game where only at the very end Seth was a little more precise enough to claim the full point.
Michael Yang with white broke into Ian Scott’s weakened queen side to achieve a permanent positional and material advantage enough for a full point. Well done Michael!
Jake C.L. Chan defeated Joe Yiu-Cho Lau and Gregory Lloyd beat Antonia Lee.
Caissa’s Peter Whalley won against Ngai Yeung. Surely we expect after this tournament Peter to have recovered a bit from 20 years of chess hibernating and we look forward to Peter’s coming performances.
Finally, congratulations to Alberto Muniz who among the 3 players with 5.5 points had the best scoring opponents and deservedly won the Hong Kong Chess Open 2012.