The interesting matchup today is Macaspac-Drake. If Macaspac wins, his route to the championship will be somewhat paved though he still has to vanquish other formidable pretenders to the crown in Pitts and Baniel. But the winner of this game can potentially end up with the bragging rights of being tournament champion. Drake is a solid player who just needs more tournament games to hone his skills. His opening knowledge seems solid enough to win this tournament.
Baniel and Pitts are potential candidates but West is really the dark horse player in this edition. His loss to Macaspac in the first round despite a big advantage seemed to have affected his second-round game. He lost the game on time in a somewhat even position on move 39.
Listening to Duke during postmortem analysis, one can gather that this young man has a good grasp of chess strategy. He is the player to watch in the future.
Baniel shows some rust in the earlier rounds but managed still to score 1.5 in his last two games. He too can win this tournament. He is a veteran and had some NATO experience. Since nobody took advantage of his earlier poor showing, he remains in contention.
I have yet to choose the game of the round for the last two rounds. There is no time to go over the games but I have candidate games in mind. Winners will receive a coupon from MonRoi which can only be used towards the purchase of a Personal Chess Manager.
All the players are amazed by what we are doing this year. Games are projected on the screen for spectators but players use the screen to follow other players’ games on it as well.