So much news to cover! Some days there's hardly anything.
Anyway, I suppose I should mention that somewhere in cold Siberia a lone Australian (well, his chaperone doesn't count) is battling away against the world's best chessers. He is, of course, international master Gary Lane. And who else but an Aussie would have the luxury of a walkover when his opponent, Akopian, failed to front up? Gary is into round 2. I'm sure he won't mind me saying, "lucky bastard".
But there is also another player that I should like to mention. Who else but a lone Filipino - the Philippines' latest GM, Mark Paragua.
Unlike his much distracted countrymen back home, Paragua is doing the Pinoy chess culture proud. He needed no luck. Crossing swords with GM Segei Movsesian, the Pinoy grandmaster vanquished his opponent 1.5-0.5. On the return match, Paragua forced a resignation after 41 moves when he was already up by 2 major pieces.
This wonderful news brings much needed comfort to our Philippine nation after our chess team failed to win the gold medal in the individual rapid chess event in the 23rd South East Asian Games. We might need a miracle to win the teams event - but I hope they can do it!