Back in round 1, a tournament appeals committee was formed and it comprised of Hilton Bennett, Lawrence Cooper, Han-Joachim Hecht, Brian Jones as well as Herman van Riemsdijk. Thankfully these five have not been called upon to rule on a dispute of any sort. So far no arguments, no disputes, maybe just questions over some small aspects of the Laws - but that's about it. Which speaks pretty well for the general atmosphere of the event - full of hard combat but, when the hostilities are over, foes immediately become friends. It's still at times difficult to imagine, perhaps even accompanied with a small amusement, that anyone could subject their friend to such tremendous pressure over-the-board that the sufferer of this pressure can look almost mad - talking to themselves while looking for that next move. Such is chess.
Today's round features six Victorian Aussies on the top 10 boards. A detail that certainly did not escape Mehmedalija Dizdarevic's attention. These Mexicans can bloody well play chess.
Not quite on the top 10 is another Victorian, my friend Richard Voon. We've been sparring over a few blitz games so much over the last couple of days that he's been mistaken as my dad! For his age, Voonie is still pretty tricky with the tactics. However, for some strange reason he plays better in the evening than at night. In our match yesterday morning I whipped him 8-1, then in the evening we go blow for blow til about 10PM. He won that one with a net lead of 3-0. We could've gone on longer but I had a party to attend. Perhaps I'll tell you more on that later.