Round one is Friday at 3pm EDT. Live link. The official site hasn't been updated since the Pleistocene, so I don't know if the pairings have already been done. [They are now up here.] I hope we don't have to fish around for basic info on the ICC, Chess Life, and official sites. I hope someone can do some outreach to the hardcore sites where all details are welcome. An organizer, an arbiter?
Speaking of regulations, can anyone let us know if there are anti-short-draw rules in effect?
[The first round pairings appeared a few hours later here. Yay. Highlights: Ibragimov-Kamsky, Nakamura-Shabalov (! Crazy but true, Shabalov is the 14th seed.), Friedel-Onischuk. My Brooklyn homegirl Irina Krush has black against Kaidanov. Last call to pick your winners. Who will be on the podium? Can anyone crack through the Kamsky-Nakamura-Onischuk power trio over nine rounds? Odds are they won't all three finish with medals, but I find it very hard to pick against them.
Add: After the usual first-round delay, a relay snafu put the wrong names on the boards for a while, but that seems to be fixed. Jennifer Shahade and Emil Sutovsky are on the mic live for ICC Chess.FM. Susan Polgar has posted a big gallery of pics here.
Add: Holy hell, what a mess. The scores were so bad that the official site shut down the live broadcast during the round. And hours after the round finished (it's midnight in NY) the official site still says to check back tonight for PGN. 12 games!! This isn't the frigging Olympiad, people! Don't they still keep scoresheets? It also says the "PNG boards malfunctioned." Eh? DGT? PGN? Sounds more like a PEBKAC problem to me. Apparently nobody was on hand during the round to slap up a free java viewer and manually update and upload a PGN file every few minutes. That's not brain surgery and I'm sure they have enough chess people floating around to relay at least the top few boards.
All the tech experts and bandwidth in the world don't help much if you don't know anything about chess and chess on the web, I guess. I'd like to be charitable, and in fact this is me being charitable, but this is unacceptable. If you don't know how to use the tech, make sure you do a few trial runs, or a few dozen. And have a backup plan. I mean, not that this is an important or prestigious event or anything. The DGT software can be a real pain, I know from experience (and why I let Dutch studs handle it and send me the URLs). But this isn't the Friday Action Quad! We're supposed to be talking about all the great players and the great games, and we can't even see them. The few scores circulating are garbage. About the only one I've seen that looks real is Hess's win over Christiansen. Brilliant stuff from LarryC only to miss a nice counter-shot and go down in flames.
PNG PGN after the jump.
[There are some games in Shahade's CLO report. Hey, PGN now up here. Can you please drop the titles in the players' name fields? Hmm, at least one of the scores still has garbage. Ibragimov-Kamsky. 25.Bb4??? is even given in Shahade's report! Come on, people! I know it's late and you're all in a hurry and doing your best, but you're killing us here. America's top-rated player and the game has this gobbledygook.]
Let's really hope we can chalk this up to bad luck and that everything goes smoothly tomorrow, or at least that it survives. The organizers from St. Louis that I had the pleasure to meet in Nashville last month had enough goodwill for a dozen tournaments, so they deserve a mulligan. I'm sure they are trying hard and I don't want to hurt any feelings. But if this happens again the webosphere is going to go from annoyance to laughter, and that ain't pretty. (Just ask Braingames.) Maybe it's something going around the intertubes, since the Azerbaijan vs the World site is five kinds of crappy. The H1Nternet Virus?
[Event "US Ch"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 d6 4. O-O Bd7 5. Re1 Nf6 6. c3 a6 7. Ba4 b5 8. Bc2
g6 9. d4 Bg4 10. a4 cxd4 11. cxd4 Bg7 12. Nc3 b4 13. Ne2 O-O 14. d5 Bxf3 15.
gxf3 Na5 16. Be3 Nh5 17. Bd3 e6 18. Rc1 exd5 19. exd5 Re8 20. Qc2 Qh4 21. Ng3
Nf4 22. Bb6 b3 23. Qd2 Rxe1+ 24. Rxe1 Nxd3 25. Re4 Ne5 26. Rxh4 Nxf3+ 27. Kg2
Nxd2 28. Bxa5 Bxb2 29. Bxd2 Ba3 30. Ne4 Rc8 31. Rh3 b2 32. Rb3 Rc1 33. Rb8+ Kg7
34. Bc3+ Kh6 35. Bxb2 Bxb2 36. Rxb2 f5 37. Nxd6 Rd1 38. Rb6 Rxd5 39. Rxa6 Kh5
40. Ne8 1-0