With this evening's game, we have just past the halfway mark in the tournament, and we have 12 leaders with 4 points:
GM Nigel Short, GM Sergey Tiviakov, GM Kamil Miton, GM Victor Mikhalevski, GM Suat Atalik, GM Andrey Rychagov, GM Sipke Ernst, GM Mark Bluvshtein, GM David Howell, GM Alex Yermolinski, GM Tomas Likavsky, Dalia Kagramanov.
OK, how does this pairing system work again Jonathan? Dalia finished 2nd in the recently completed Canadian Youth Chess Championships at the Chateau Laurier, also in Ottawa, immediately prior to this event. This was in the Under-14 Girls Division, and I don't recall there being 11 GM's in her section, but I can always find out. Hmmm, nope, just Dalia and some other young girls....well, I hope she doesn't feel out of her league in such auspicious company, and on Charles Graves Tie Day too (GCTD), a recent Canadian Open tradition. Maybe someone should lend her a tie for the round - could make a great photo!
Well, anyways, compared to yesterday's results on the top boards, today was a virtual cleansing of the ranks. Only 5 draws on the top 20 boards! A few interesting ones, but mostly placid affairs. Nigel Short apologized (jokingly) to my specs in the commentary room for playing rather flatly today. Neither he nor Tiviakov, his opponent, used MonRoi recorders, so I was unfortunately not able to comment on their game. I do believe he opened 1.g3 (or played it fairly early on), as he made a comment to the effect that when he looked over at Reprintsev-Miton on a nearby board and saw 1.g4 (it's true, I swear!), he mentioned that he had nearly played the same thing, but decided that one square forward was enough!
My vote for game of the day goes to GM Viktor Mikhalevski for his smashing win over GM Bator Sambuev - let's take a look!