Haven't seen the pairings posted yet, although at least the Linares website is alive in the nick of time. (Just in time to crash from server overload an hour into the round tomorrow.) There's also a Linares blog (both Spanish) that's been updating regularly for a while with good info. Such as the fact that for the first time they are implementing a version of the Sofia rules and prohibiting draw offers before move 40.
The biggest Linares news in the Spanish press, by far, is the announcement not of the 2010 field but of Magnus Carlsen agreeing to participate in 2011. Impressive celebrity clout, I must say. Topalov, who lives in Spain, is getting some decent press but the loss of his #1 ranking has reduced his news peg status, it seems. He's never won Linares, though he shared first with Kasparov in 2005. Aronian (2006) and Grischuk (2009, tiebreak over Ivanchuk) are the only former Linares winners in the field. As with Kramnik and Dortmund, there are so few winners of Linares because Kasparov won so many titles. He took seven and a half, while Anand and Ivanchuk have three each and Kramnik one and a half (splitting the title with Kasparov in 2000).
Gelfand played in six Linares events in the 1990s but hasn't been here since 1997. Even back then it was never his event. He finished a strong second to Kasparov in 1990 but I don't think he managed even a plus score after that. In 1997 he lost a wild KID to Topalov that brings back memories. PGN after the jump. Gashimov is coming off a miserable appearance at the World Team event, where he was unrecognizable and lost three in a row. He's been bobbing in and out of the top 20 for a few years now but has yet to put up the big win or beat the big boys. In the past two years I see only three wins against top-15 opposition: two against Shirov and a lovely mini against Gelfand from a Spanish team event. But he wasn't losing much either. And, as has already been noted, he hasn't had the greatest invites before now, so this is his chance. Or he could end up like Wang Yue, who played in just about every supertournament last year and after mediocre results now seems to have disappeared despite being in the top ten.
I'm really intrigued by Grischuk's recent run of form. Despite receiving Kasparov's highest praise when he debuted on the scene in 1999, he's been seen as a sort of exciting part-timer with tremendous talent, bad hair, and a middling work ethic. As more of a Morozevich-type crowd-pleaser than a supertournament winner. Now he's won Linares and the Russian superfinal in the same year. It might be the case that years have helped him settle down and that chess can coexist with his poker career. Aronian has largely stopped putting up the occasional dud and must now be considered a top favorite in any event he plays in. This can only be said about five players on the planet and it's no coincidence there's a 20-point rating gap between them and the rest. (Ivanchuk can also win anytime, anywhere, of course, but we all know he's never going to be consistent.)
The Linares field again: Topalov, Aronian, Grischuk, Gelfand, Gashimov, Vallejo.
Still nothing on the pairings page, but the official live page reveals Gelfand-Gashimov, Vallejo-Topalov, Aronian-Grischuk.
Update: All games drawn without many twists or turns.
[Event "Linares 14th"]
[White "Gelfand, Boris"]
[Black "Topalov, Veselin"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. Nc3 O-O 5. e4 d6 6. Be2 e5 7. Be3 exd4 8. Nxd4
Re8 9. f3 c6 10. Bf2 d5 11. exd5 cxd5 12. O-O Nc6 13. c5 Nh5 14. g3 Bh3 15. Re1
Qg5 16. Ndb5 Rad8 17. Nd6 Bd4 18. Qc1 Be3 19. Bxe3 Rxe3 20. Kf2 d4 21. Nd1
Rxe2+ 22. Rxe2 Qd5 23. Ne4 Ne5 24. Qg5 Re8 25. Rd2 Qc4 26. Ndc3 h6 27. Qh4 dxc3
28. Rd8 cxb2 29. Rxe8+ Kg7 30. Rd1 Qc2+ 31. Rd2 b1=Q 32. Qxh3 Qcc1 0-1