Baniel beat Ranario in round five to take sole lead in a 20-player field with 4.5 points. Dulger who is proving to be the sensation of the tournament is only half a point behind. Baniel’s score reflecting his solid performance is enough to guarantee a team spot on the US Armed Forces Team for the NATO event. The Army is now tied with the Air Force, each team with 19 points. Individual scores and team standing will be posted in the next entry.

 From what I can recall this is the first time that any team has tied the airmen with only two rounds to go. In the past, the Air Force would amass an insurmountable lead by end of round five that the last two rounds would become a mad dash for second and third places between the Navy and the Army. This year’s Air Force team is stacked with four Experts and two Class A players.

 Imagine the kind of lead the Air Force team would get during the time of Tate and Moore. Tate used to play for the Air Force and Bobby Moore was a strong master and feared attacker. Moore’s games are featured in many Smith-Morra books with wins against titled players. Well, we all know who Tate is. I never got the privilege to play Tate over the board but in my only joust with Moore, we drew.

 I was not impressed with Baniel’s play at the All-Army but here he is having a break out tournament. He could be this year’s undisputed champion. He is running out of top players to play against. Sadly, the Marines are not fully represented this year, only two players out of the normal six came to play. At least, the Marine contingent can claim fidelity to its well-known motto as “the few, the proud"?

Round 5 Results

Baniel vs. Ranario, 1-0
Bucholtz vs. Choate, 1/2
Drake vs Keough, 1-0
Dulger vs. West, 1-0
Echaure vs. Adkins, 1-0
Recinos vs. Carrelli, 1-0
Macaspac vs. Dixon, 1-0
Pitts vs. Pihl, 1-0
Pagtama vs. Nichols, 1/2
King vs. Smith, 1-0