This is just a short update from the Chicago Open (check standings here). Unfortunately, everything that can go wrong has indeed gone wrong. I dropped out of the 4-day schedule after 0.5/3 against experts (1851 performance rating) and will instead try my luck today in the insane 2-day schedule (first four rounds at G/45). Sadly, I don't know what is wrong with me. I won't make excuses; either I'm playing like %$@* or my opponents are all GMs in disguise! Please check my ICC finger notes for updates from the 2-day schedule.
I have only seen two CalChess members here in Wheeling, Illinois. IM Josh Friedel inched closer to the GM title by taking down top rated GM Hikaru Nakamura. However, he subsequently lost to GM Atanas Kolev and remains about 7 rating points away from his dream. You may watch games from the Open section live on MonRoi. The other local competitor is teenager Rohan Agarwal (see photo above) who has an impressive 2.5/3 in the U2300 section against master level opposition.
Many thanks to tournament director and fellow blogger Chris Bird for making me feel better by describing his embarrassing mixup involving GM Tigran Petrosian during round 1.