Sitting behind his trusty Sicilian, Gomez defeated Indian grandmaster Deepan Chakkravarthy in their 11th round duel to move up to 7 points and set up a meeting with international master Ildar Khairullin of Russia in the 12th round. Chakkravarthy was the first to deviate from theory with 15. e5. But Gomez reacted calmly and even managed to produce a delicious finish to end the encounter.
The local girls hit back yesterday as Armenian Anahit Kharatyan avenged the loss of compatriot Varduhi Kalashyan to Shannon Oliver. Shannon, daughter of prominent chess organiser Jenni Oliver, thus remains on 4.5 points and will now meet WIM Khaled Mona of Egypt.
The Aussie boys, on the other hand, had more positive results as Tomek drew with US international master Robert Hungaski and Nick Chernih defeated South Africa's Calvin Jong Klaasen.
Russian international master Nikita Vitiugov holds a slim lead on 8.5 points in the Juniors. IM Zaven Andriasian, of Armenia, is the next chaser with 8, followed by a group of seven players on 7.5 points. Salome Melia leads the girls on 8 points overall.