Jason Chan's normally accurate calculating prowess desserted him today as he went down to Pickering - a 300 point upset! Anthony Pickering, rated 1703, obtained the following position.
Chan, rated 2031, now played b7-b5. Perhaps Bd7-g4 may be preferred. Pickering continued with 1. Rf7 Bg4 2. Rxg7!! Qxg7 3. Rf7 Qxf7 4. Qxf7 Rf8?? Resigns. Even 4...Rd7 won't survive very long.
O board 2, Johny Bolens outwitted junior Raymond Song to win a tense struggle. Both players had pawns on the brink of queening. In the end, Bolens' triple attack against Song's g7 spot, threating mate, was way too much.
Harp - Escribano was equally tense. Black held a slight advantage. However, with his clock slowly ebbing downward below the 1 minute mark, Escribano (rated 1677 and a former World Championship challenger - no joke!) panicked. He blundered and lost. Harp was moved to remark, "Sorry Jose. You deserved to win."
Finally, on board 1 - the important shootout between the top two seeds, Bjelobrk and Ayvazyan, ended peacefully. Each held the bishop pair - but the position presented no means of progress.
After 4 rounds Bjelobrk, Ayvazyan, O'Chee, and Bolens are in the lead with 3.5 points each.