Hey everyone. I’m writing a quick update personally while I try to get Sue interested in Les Miserables 🙂 My game against Susan Lalic went well today. The opening was an Advanced Caro-Kann and quickly an interesting imbalance emerged with me having the bishop pair but doubled c pawns against her central pawns. It was important I could prevent the centre advancing and keep control. She defended well but when we both started getting low on time she drifted whilst trying to activate her pieces when she should have stayed passive and allowed me to penetrate on the d file. She had to give up her c pawn and then my connected passed pawns were too strong. All the top seeds won today meaning David Howell is outright first with 4/4 and Mickey, Nigel and I on 3.5. It’ll be interesting to see who I get paired against tomorrow.
Elsewhere Carlsen has just wrapped up first in the Biel tournament and slowly getting closer to the top rating of all time (Kasparov’s 2851 in 1999 has yet to be beaten. Magnus is currently running at 2825). We’re really spoilt for high level chess at the moment and over in Dortmund Kramnik is destroying all competition in another elite event. He has 6/7 ahead of the young Vietnamese talent Le Quang Liem on 4. Nakamura is having a disappointing tournament and has just 2.5/7 without a win to his name. Thanks to Kramnik’s big score we currently have four players with a rating of 2800 or higher (Carlsen, Anand, Aronian and Kramnik). I believe this is the first time we’ve had four 2800s although I could be mistaken. Of course this has to do with rating inflation but still these four are immensely talented and showing that chess is in good health.