The Remote Chess Academy (helmed by GM Igor Smirnov) and Chessbase has combined to hold a 13 round, 3 minute (with 2 second increment per move) blitz event on the Playchess.com server, in honour of the Anand-Carlsen World Championships match. The 30 main prizes and 18 more lucky-winner prizes proved to be a great draw as 366 participants started the event, with at least 5 GMs and 10 IMs taking part.
Wei Ming, Daniel Chan and your scribe all reached 8 points after 11 rounds. In round 12, I lost to Haapana from Finland (he had also beaten Daniel earlier). Wei Ming slowly but surely overcame Chinese IM Wang Shuai and Daniel took out Yozimar Hernandez of Mexico.
In the final round, Wei Ming agreed to a 3 move draw with eventual champion GM Jose Carlos Ibarra Jerez -handle name Singapu(!) who scored 11 out of 13 for clear 1st. At the end of the event, I introduced myself as a Singaporean and asked him how he ended up with this handle name. He said he had always liked the place but at the age of 11, when he created the handle name, he did not know how to spell it!
My best game of the tourney came in the final round.
Here is the game which allowed me to find the a3-f8 diagonal + back rank combination.
Daniel Chan was pitted against the very strong Russian GM Sergey Volkov (ELO 2615) and they fought tooth and nail to secure a high placing. At one point, Daniel rode his luck as Volkov missed a mating idea but after that, Daniel pounced upon a dubious winning attempt by the Russian to clinch the point.
Hence, Daniel finished an impressive 6th (10 out of 13 pts) winning US$150 worth of RCA products, while Wei Ming's 12th position (9.5 out of 13) earned him Deep Fritz 14 . My 19th place (9 out of 13) got me 6 months premium membership at Playchess.com.
Here's a nice positional lesson by Wei Ming where he kept improving his knight placement until his opponent's position became untenable.
Final Scoretable - RCA Open 2013