(1) The World Champ and the world's top-rated player are both in action, and in the same tournament. Kristiansund, Norway is hosting a 4-player rapid event with Viswanathan Anand, Magnus Carlsen, long-time women's #1 Judit Polgar and Norway's #2 player Jon Ludvig Hammer. The time control is 20' + 10" and they had their first go-round today; tomorrow they'll do it again, and then on Monday the top two finishers will play a match for first and the bottom two will do the same for 3rd.
Today's results were nice and tidy: Anand and Carlsen both won their first two games and then drew with each other, while Polgar and Hammer previewed their Monday match with a draw as well. The first two therefore have 2.5/3 and the latter pair .5 apiece.
Tournament site here.
(2) "You're traveling through another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. Your next stop, the Twilight Zone."
Why do I quote (one set of) the introductory words to the great Twilight Zone series? Oh, no reason. Meanwhile, in an utterly unrelated item of chess news, Boris Gelfand and Peter Leko are 3/4 of the way through their 8-game rapid match, and here are the statistics. First, half the games have been decisive (Gelfand leads 3.5-2.5). Second, except for Gelfand's 45-move win in the first game today, no game has gone less than 71 moves. Game 6 even went 101 moves. These guys are fighters! (In other news, Bill O'Reilly and Keith Olbermann have become best friends, Paris Hilton is pursuing a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame, and Microsoft has decided to go open-source with all their products.) I suspect doppelgängers, frankly.
Match website here.
(3) The Spanish Team Championship came to an end. It was won by some team of mercenaries, 2/3 of whom aren't Spanish, ahead of another team of mostly non-Spanish mercenaries. All very exciting to the home crowds, I'm sure. Anyway, while I don't really grasp the point of the event, there were lots of great players there, so I'm glad they had it. Gashimov, Shirov, Nakamura, Vachier-Lagrave, Navara and other 2700s were there, not to mention a bevy of 2600+ players as well.
There are other interesting events going on as well. There's the Russian Championships, "Higher League" (that's inflato-speak for what they used to call Semi-Finals or Preliminaries), which includes a pair of 2700s and several near-2700s, the Baku Open (including Kamsky, Sutovsky and other very strong GMs), and (of pretty much just U.S. interest) the U.S. Senior Open (includes GMs Sergey Kudrin, Alexander Ivanov and Larry Kaufman and IMs Emory Tate and Joe Bradford).
I hope to have some games from the Arctic Securities event up later - stay tuned.