Thursday, June 5

Hello from Las Vegas!

Photo of The Strip at night. Yes Yian, the Eiffel Tower is not just a landmark in Paris.

Hello from The Riviera in Las Vegas, home of the National Open chess tournament. I arrived on Wednesday afternoon, giving me time to relax for one day before pushing pawns. You won't believe what all happened within the first hour of my arrival:
  • The baggage handlers at Southwest Airlines apparently fixed a minor yet annoying problem with the left rear wheel of my wheelchair. Lucky me!
  • After boarding a bus, a passenger uttered four words that I never expected: "I read your blog." This gentleman travels annually to Las Vegas from Ireland.
  • I got soaked by a freak shower upon exiting the bus. In fact, the local weather was quite strange: moderate temperatures, 35-50 mph winds and scattered rain.
The main tournament begins on Friday with 629 players preregistered (see entry list here). The top seeds are Grandmasters Gata Kamsky and Hikaru Nakamura, who may now both be above 2700 FIDE on the July 1 rating list. I expect some live coverage on MonRoi. Four of my students and a few good friends will play this weekend, plus another student who will participate in today's G/10 side event only. Wish us all luck!

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