First of all, I apologize for the delay in getting this update done but I didnt realize the Paris Grand Chess tour had actually started. I had tuned in earlier and saw Maurice Ashley interviewing Wesley So but I thought I was watching an old re-run of Miami Vice.
That said I'm very relieved to see Grishuk will have a chance at a nice chunk of the prize money. Aside from his excellent play, the poor bloke seems to be a bit down and out. He's unkempt, dishevelled, and emaciated. You'd think one of the event sponsors would take pity on him and advance him a few bucks so he could get a hotel room for the night and stop having to go from game to game carrying around that embarrasing plastic bag containing a few toiletries and a change of underwear.
Looking at the standings after the first two days of play, Fabiano Caruana's manager probably could have used that extra pair of undies. I really expected him put up a better fight versus Bacrot and MVL -- my understanding is he's supposed to be something of an expert at playing against the French. He actually was able to draw his game against "The Grave Digger" , but poor Fabi ended up having to resign the other affair as there was simply no way to avoid a Bacrot mate.
"Shakh Black" Mamedyarov has continued to play very well he trails third place Nakamura by only half a point. Their individual encounter, AKA"Battle of the Beards", ended peacefully.
Carlsen is certainly back in World Championship form and is leading the event, but on day three the post-mortem almost turned into mortal combat as he faced off against another strong black GM. Seriously, Mo Ashley's got some big guns. I half expected to see Magnus playing the blitz session with some tape holding his new glasses together.
I must say the St. Louis Chess Club's commentary team was very professional and entertaining. I looking forward to seeing Seirawan and the gang back for the blitz portion. Thanks Yasser, can we have another?