GM Rogers and Moulthun bowed to their GM opponents while IM Smerdon, playing the Alapin, one of his favourite anti-Sicilian systems, went down to untitled player Robert Ris. Smerdon actually followed his game against Quezada from the World Juniors in 2004 until the 17th move. In that earlier encounter, the Aussie opted for the high risk 17. Qe3 and the game ended a draw. This time around, Smerdon played 17. Bxe7 instead. Perhaps he was fearful of an ambush.
Three players are now in the lead on 5.5 points. The Australian scores after 7 rounds are as follows:
Rogers - 5
Smerdon, Ly - 3.5
Weeks - 2.5
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