Not-So-Grand Coverage of the Grand Chess Tour Heads to Belgium for Leg 2!
Continuing our coverage of the Grand Chess Tour, we cross the border from France into Belgium for the second leg, being touted as: "The Tussle in Brussels". And while we're waiting for the event to get underway, I think its a great time for our first installment of "The Speculative Opening" where we try to predict how the players will fare during the event.
Fresh off his victory in the Paris leg of the tour, we should be expecting to see Magnus Ver Magnusson Carlsen. The strong Scandinavian powerhouse and champion athlete should muscle his way past the competition to take the win.
But if the World Champion has an inconsistent performance we may get an unexpected visit from the old mother-in-law: Agnes Carlsen, who will be slow, tired, and irritable.
(What do you want Magnus to do?)
Having recently won the very strong Norway Chess Tournament, he's been playing outstanding chess -- so I would not be surprised to see Leuven Aronian show up to take the title, win the hearts of the locals, and become the talk of the town.
(Aronian should be feeling well at home in Belgium)
Of course, even a Super GM can have a bad tournament and if that happens we could end up watching a cringeworthy performance from Levon Errornian, marked by poor strategic decisions and blunders.
Its his first appearance on the tour, he's the youngest player in the field, and he has a reputation for drawing, so we may likely be witnessing the play of Amish Giri the simple (Pennsylvania) Dutch boy who would rather part ways peacefully than fight.
(Time to seperate the Mennonites from the boys, Anish)
But there is always the possibility that Richard Giri will take center stage, producing an award winning performance laden with star-power, talent, and emotion.
(Anish may have nowhere else to go but to first place in this event )
An original and volatile player, this is also his first tour event so its anyone's guess whether we'll be watching Bad Jobava, a player out of form and simply not doing anything well, perhaps even behaving poorly.
Or the rest of the field could find themselves confronting the powerful and merciless Vader Jobava -- capable of winning with white as well as with the dark side, and unleashing the force of strategy and tactics to crush his opponents.
Its anyone's guess whether we'll end up having to endure the antics of Silly Ivanchuk. Giddy and erratic, his play will be hallmarked by blunders, odd facial expressions, and tactics that only work in Brazilian checkers.
Of course, if he brings his A-game, Vassily Ivanchuk-Norris will be an invincible opponent. Capable of uncanny manuevers like delivering checkmate with lone kings on the board and knight-forking bishops of opposite color, he'll go undefeated in the tourney winning every game by checkmate and use less than one second of thinking time for all his games combined.
Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments section below! And whatever happens, we're sure this secondevent on the Grand Chess Tour is bound to be as exciting as ever!