International News Today - Dec 29, 2011

After 3 rounds at the Reggio Emelia Super Tournament in Northern Italy, Alexander Morozevich reatins the lead with 7 points (3 point system).  Vassily Ivanchuk won today to move into a tie for 2nd with Hikaru Nakamura, both having 5 points. Also playing are Anish Giri and Nikita Vatiugov (2), and Fabiano Caruana (1).

Tomorrow is the last round at the Groningen Chess Festival. Tied for 1st are American Robert Hess and Ukranian Alexander Kovchan. Kovchan is black against fellow countryman Yaroslav Zerebukh, while Hess is black against Hungarian Robert Ruck.

An unususal format is being employed at the Donastia-San Sebastian Chess Festival. The A KO tournament has nearly 100 players to start. Best of two game matches, with the twist that both games are being played at once !! The top seeds all had byes yesterday. Losers go to a B KO tournament and losers there to a C International Open. As far as I can tell from the web site, all of the top seeds won today including the following 2700+ players: Vugar Gashimov, Shak Mamedyarov, Ruslan Ponomariov, Alexander Moiseenko, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Leinier Dominguez, Arkadij Naiditsch, Etienne Bacrot, Viktor Laznicka, and Laurent Fressinet.

The Hastings International Chess Congress continues after all these years, although the glamour is usually gone from top player competition. This year the organizers landed Wang Yue joining other 2600 players - David Howell, Andrei Istratescu, and Romain Edouard.

The Rilton Cup in Stockholm has 4 players over 2600, although after 3 rounds only Polish GM Grzegorz Grezewski from this group has a perfect score.