While his countrymen are busy going about their usual habit of striking and causing all kinds of mayhem, GM Etienne Bacrot is in China busy beating the best of them. Before tonight's round 7, when he lost to Topalov, Bacrot was in outright second place just behind Carlsen.
The Frenchman has been playing some very good chess. He'd beaten no less than Anand, Wang and Gashimov.
I remember pissing right next to this guy in the 2008 Olympiad's Bermuda Party while he tapped his forehead repeatedly against the wall and also mumbling something in French. He looked absolutely nothing like one of the world's best players. And I've gotta admit, I knew he was good, but I never actually realised that he was in the elite!
Of Bacrot's wins so far my fave is this one in round 4 against World Champ, Vishy. And kudos to the Indian for reeling out this variation.
3rd Pearl Spring
1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 dxc4 5. a4 Bf5 6. Ne5 e6 7. f3 Bb4 8. e4 Bxe4 9. fxe4 Nxe4 10. Bd2 Qxd4 11. Nxe4 Qxe4+ 12. Qe2 Bxd2+ 13. Kxd2 Qd5+ 14. Kc3 O-O 15. Qe3 b5 16. Be2 Nd7 17. Nxd7 Qxd7 18. Rhd1 Qe7 19. Kc2 a5 20. Bf3 Rac8 21. Qe5 g6 22. axb5 cxb5 23. Qxb5 Rc5 24. Qd7 Qg5 25. Qd4 Rfc8 26. Ra3 Rb5 27. Rd2 Rb4 28. Kd1 Rcb8 29. Ke2 Qb5 30. Ke1 Rxb2 31. Rxb2 Qxb2 32. Qxb2 Rxb2 33. Rxa5 c3 34. Rc5 Rb1+ 35. Ke2 Rc1 36. Kd3 Kg7 37. Rxc3 Rxc3+ 38. Kxc3 f5 39. Kd4 Kf6 40. Bd1 h5 41. Bf3 h4 42. Be2 g5 43. Ba6 g4 44. Bb7 e5+ 45. Kd5 f4 46. Ke4 1-0