Apologies for the delay in normal programming, but this move to Tokyo is taking a bit more on my time. As a matter of fact, I am now in the Japanese capital. And my butt is freezing, although winter conditions here are nowhere near the icy conditions in Europe.
While I'm here, there is still time to check on Aussie Chess Champs results (it is only 9.30PM as I type). If you haven't yet heard, over on Chess Chat there are congratulating Vlad Smirnov, for his second IM norm, and IM George Xie, for his second GM norm. May I join in those congratulations? Very well done, indeed, especially to George Xie. There's a fellow who is, as far as I know, mostly self-taught! I remember him and his handwritten analyses. Quite amazing.
I have to say that, notwithstanding that somewhat poor debut in the Olympiad last year, George surely deserves another look for the next men's Olympiad outfit.