Queenslander Moulthun Ly this afternoon won the lightning event after beating Victorian player Sam Chow in a 2-game playoff. Both players scored 9 points from their eleven regulation games.
Sydney's international master George Xie placed third overall with 8.5 points. The top placers are as follows:
9.0 Ly, Chow
8.0 Illingworth, Sales, Bjelobrk, Wright, N.
7.5 Solomon, Yu, Pearce
7.0 Smirnov, Antic, Bolens, Ikeda, Mandla, Tan
Seventy-two players attended the event.
In the playoff, Moulthun defeated Chow with seeming ease. Commanding the white pieces in the first match, the young Queenslander, who holds 2 IM norms, slowly invaded the centre before turning his attention to the enemy king. Chow, with a smile, and himself a powerful lightning player (winning the 2006 Doeberl lightning event), opted not to wait for the inevitable and resigned.
The second playoff match saw a more determined Chow. He must have surely fancied his own chances when Moulthun castled king-side already missing his protective cover of f and g pawns. Chow castled in the opposite wing. But again, Moulthun outwitted the Victorian; the tactics just fell in his favour this day. Chow finally surrendered the second game before heading to a lost endgame the exchange down.
A good afternoon overall for everyone. Some normally quiet players came out to play. Ricky Lopis and Justin Tan were there. The latter was doing a little show of his own playing "transfer" all by himself against the duo of Bjelobrk and Wright. Vladimir Smirnov kept telling me to "take a picture, take a picture". Apparently, Justin Tan is a world champion at the game.
And in a first for yours truly: Victorian junior James Morris thanked me for losing a game (against another player) as it meant that I'd be out of the picture for the U1800 prize. Sure enough, he later won it.
That's all for now. Normal action resumes tomorrow at 11AM.