A double dose of high quality chess is now being served up to chess fans. The London Grand Prix event is up to its 4th round, and the first leg of the 2012 Grand Slam Masters begins this evening. Due to the time zone differences, fans in Australia can go to sleep watching the action from London, and wake up to watch the action from Sao Paulo.
The field for the Grand Slam Masters is quite strong, as usual. Top seed is Magnus Carlsen, followed by Lev Aronian, Sergey Karjakin, Viswanathan Anand, Fabiano Caruana and Francisco Vellejo. The first half of the double round robin tournament is to be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, while the second half is in Bilbao, Spain.
Launching into my usual fearless predictions (I did get the top 3 right at the Olympiad btw), I am tipping Lev Aronian to win this one. Why? Because I think that Carlsen will drop a game to Vallejo, who otherwise will struggle in the event. Of course Anand will finish mid field, with either 50% or +1.
The official tournament website is http://grandslamdexadrez.com.br while Chessbase have done a nice photo story. For those who played in Queenstown this year, there are a couple of pictures of IM Herman van Riemsdijk, who is the Chief Arbiter for this event.