We've got to hold on for another three weeks before the 2800 crowd is in action again, at the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis, but if you're the sort of person who can be satisfied with chess played by mere 2700s then you're in luck. Biel just finished, and both the British Championship and another Russia vs. China event are underway.
1. Biel: This finished earlier today, and was won by Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. MVL had been having a really lousy year, dropping down to something like #26 in the world after having been in the top 10, but he bounced back here. His score of 6.5/10 was good enough for first place, half a point ahead of Radoslaw Wojtaszek and a point ahead of David Navara and Mickey Adams, and boosted his rating by 13 points. That put him back to #16 in the world and well on the road to recovery. A lot of crazy chess was played in the tournament, so it's worth replaying the games if you haven't already.
2. British Championship: This is a monster event by contemporary standards, with 11 rounds, and after 4 of those rounds there is a 7-way tie for first with 3.5 points apiece. One of the leaders is the top seed and new member of the 2700 club, David Howell.
3. China-Russia Challenge Match: This is a strangely formatted event which will apparently stop on August 1 and then be resumed at some point in December. Players here include Sergey Karjakin on the Russian side and Ding Liren on the Chinese team; the latter, notably, has had a series of great events and is now #10 in the world at 2770.4, ahead of Levon Aronian and on the verge of passing Alexander Grischuk. Very impressive, and he's only 22 years old.
4. Caruana's Birthday: Today (Thursday) marked the end of Fabiano Caruana's tenure as the world's strongest 22-year-old; he is now 23. Happy birthday!