The 4-game deciding match was a result of the fact that at the all-play-all, top 6competition, Pace and Gauci had finished on equal points after 10 rounds of play.
The first two games, using classical time-control, were both drawn after around 3 hours of play. In the next set of 2 games, with reduced time-contol, Pace managed a good win with the black pieces in game one. This win put pressure on Gauci who now had to force a win in the the second game. Pace, with the white pieces, played another good game with a strong attack on the queen side where black’s a-pawn was weakened considerably. He then slowly pushed his c-pawn up the board until it reached the fifth rank where it became evident that it could not be stopped. Gauci resigned the game and the match.
A unique finale to the 75th edition of the National Chess Finals and a great conquest for Pace who confirmed his dominance in the local chess scene. Gauci was also second in 2009.
CM Colin Pace started playing at the age of twelve at St.Paul’s Missionary College in Rabat and 2 years later played in his first local tournament organised by the Malta Chess Federation. He was twice Malta Junior Champion U/20 (1997 and 1999) and represented Malta several times overseas, most notably being his participation in the U/16 Olympiad and his presence in 7 Chess Olympiads (Yerevan 1996, Kalmykia 1998, Bled 2002, Mallorca 2004, Torino 2006, Dresden 2008 and Khanty Mansiysk 2010). At Khanty Mansiysk Pace managed to beat an ex-World women champion, grandmaster Zhu Chen of Qatar.
CM Pace is also a chess teacher at the Chess Academy of St.Benedict College and a council member of the Malta Chess Federation. He obtained the FIDE Candidate Master title in Torino 2006.