I rather forgot this was starting so soon, my bad. Six rounds of double round-robin rapid in Moscow to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Mikhail Botvinnik. Anand, Carlsen, Kramnik, Aronian! The first day hardly lived up to the quality of that list of names, it must be said. Blunders abounded, with Carlsen missing wins against Anand (probably) and Aronian (surely). Nice to see Kramnik continuing his new habit of sacrificing pieces, this time against Carlsen, though it ended in draw. I thought Kramnik was headed for a typically Kramnikian win over Aronian with a tempoing bishop in the endgame, but it ended in a draw quickly. Isn't 47.Bf1 headed for zugzwang rather quickly? 47.Kd7 48.Bh3+ Ke7 e4 and the knight has to move and the b-pawn looks tough to stop. (Damn computer isn't as impressed, however, so maybe we'll have to trust this Kramnik guy.) The world champion was the only one to score a victory, a nice piece of work against Aronian. The second half of the event is Saturday. It's a weird event in that the games are paused so the players can give commentary to the crowd. I'm pretty sure Botvinnik wouldn't have approved! But what the hey, he didn't much approve of the dissolution of the USSR either, so he wasn't exactly infallible.
Fun to have the four top-rated players on the new FIDE list facing off. A pity it isn't at least four rounds. All the players except Kramnik will join Ivanchuk, Nakamura, and Vallejo in the Grand Slam Masters Final starting on the 26th.