Russian GM Sergey Shipov had a disastrous round this morning when he lost to 2168-rated Indian Manthan Chokshi. Chokshi is the third player at this tournament to take out a grandmaster after IM Simon Ansell defeated GM Victor Mikhalevski yesterday and IM Andras Toth downing local GM Daryl Johansen also this morning.
Chokshi, it seems, is a coach back in India. As I understand it, he apparently plans to move here to basically perform the same job.
These upsets are really starting to worry the top rated players. A few moments ago FM Vladimir Smirnov had a few quick words with me about his round 5 opponent Joshua Christensen. I assured my Russian friend that all he has to do is to be very careful.
The crowding around the stage, where the top 12 boards are played, has finally got to the organisers. Spectators are now banned from going up there. Brian Jones, however, informs me that this new policy is not going to be strictly enforced. Instead, they'll just observe the crowds closely and when it gets too much they'll simply politely ask folks to leave. I think that's good.
It's pretty much the same approached they've taken with respect to the "no draws under-30 moves" rule. It's not strictly enforced. Certainly, there are no incentives for the players to abide by it.
That's all for now. More updates later.