While I don't have time to cover it, I'd be remiss not to remind everyone that the European Club Cup got underway Sunday. Whether or not you're interested in it as a club competition, it's hard for a chess fan not to notice an event with 2700s participating. Some of them were nicked for draws in round 1, but I didn't notice any grand upsets. Anyway, if any of you notice any games that look like compelling, must-see chess, please let us know!
Meanwhile, in Sao Paulo/Bilbao, we have the first round pairings for this double round-robin event:
- Hikaru Nakamura - Vassily Ivanchuk
- Viswanathan Anand - Magnus Carlsen
- Levon Aronian - Francisco Vallejo
The games start Monday (as in today or tomorrow, depending on your time zone) at 8 p.m. CET/2 p.m. ET.
And now, rumor time. Emphasis on rumor: the information is at least three people away from an original source, so cum grano salis and caveat lector. It is...that Nakamura is working with Garry Kasparov. If true, I'll repeat what I said when it came out a few years ago that Carlsen was working with Kasparov: it's good news for Nakamura and his fans, and very bad news for his competitors. Will they manage to make it work? (Assuming they are working together!) Time will tell - it's not hard to imagine some massive ego clashes - but if they can I think it will be great for Nakamura. Kasparov's discipline and deep researches nicely complement Nakamura's talent and fighting spirit. My prediction is that if the story proves true and they make it work, the American will reach 2800 within a year.