Ehlvest-Muhammad, 1-0. This game was disastrous for Muhammad. After a tough 89-move loss to Simutowe the previous night, it was important for him to rebound with a decent showing against a strong Grandmaster. Playing his usual King's Indian, Muhammad experimented with 6…b6!? and could have sought to build a very solid hedgehog-type position after 12…cxd4 which is consistent with the move order. However, after 13…bxc5, Ehlvest tore into the dark squares with 14.Bh6! and executed a direct assault with 20.e5! Muhammad attempted to organize a defense, but it was too late and the game ended with a nice parting shot… 27.Rxf6!
Bluvsthein-Paschall, 1-0. This game drew attention due to the speculative opening played. Although the Center Counter is a respectable defense and has been played at high levels for many decades, it's always interesting to see it employed. Paschall played ambitiously, uncorking a pawn sacrifice 5…e5!? for seemingly more than adequate compensation. Black had a huge lead in development but was unable to exploit the centralized white king. The 15-year old Canadian held the position together and deftly established a remote passed pawn. Paschall had to eventually sacrifice a piece for the pawn and hunkered down to establish a drawing fortress. While Bluvshtein closed the position and was on the verge of claiming the point, Paschall had a chance with 68…Rh4+! 69.Kb3 Rb4+! (of course 70.Kxb4 stalemate!) after which 70.Ka3 Rc4 71.Rxc6+ Kb7 72.Rb6+ Kc8! 73.Rxb5 Rxc3+ is a book draw. Instead 68…Re6?? was played white quickly broke the fortress and wrapped up the point.
Perelshteyn-Yudasin, 1-0. Another disastrous game… this time by the Israeli GM. The Caro-Kann quickly became the "Car0-Kan't." There's no point in trying to understand 18…Kf8?? but Perelshteyn quickly pounced on the opportunity by zipping off 19.Bg6! The travesty of this blunder, as commentator Eric Schiller pointed out, is that there was no way to complicate the game and Yudasin would lose even more material in the final position.
Standings: Krush, Perelshteyn, 2½; Simutowe, Christiansen, Ehlvest, Bluvshtein, 2; Yudasin, 1; Paschall, Akobian, ½; Muhammad, 0.
Round Three Games (playable and downloadable)
All Games (PGN download)