Aussie chess fans who didn't stay up late last night to watch Chess24's coverage of the Olympiad will have missed the guest appearance on their show of grandmaster David Smerdon. It was really all just the usual banter about ongoing games and why he was sitting out yesterday's round (2 straight losses and a bad history with the Tajiks), but then he added a pretty bold prediction.
According to Australia's current board one, the young gun FM Anton Smirnov, who is debuting in the Olympiad for Australia as reserve, will be the next Magnus Carlsen!
That's incredible even by my standards. But I suppose if there is anybody best qualified to predict such futures, it would be GM Smerdon.
And by the way, in eight appearances so far for Australia, Smirnov is yet to drop the full point. His current total is 7 points. The kid is on fire.