This has been the most exciting Chess Candidates tournament—or any chess tournament—I’ve ever seen. Tomorrow is round 13 of 14 and we have a three-way tie for first, with Fabiano Caruana, who was considered by most to be the tournament favorite just a half-game back. And in the final two rounds, three games feature those top four, plus games with some of the potentially most dangerous folks from further down the leaderboard. It’s wild.

No small amount of the excitement is coming from the time control, with two hours flat for the first forty moves + thirty-minutes and thirty-second increment starting at move 41 (with no third time control). I have mixed feelings about this. The chess lover in me doesn’t like speeding the classical game up, but the spectator is loving the drama.

It’s very possible we’ll go into tie-breaks. If we do, with the tie-breaks being rapid games, it will surely be high drama, but I will have solidly divided feelings: I don’t think classical chess should ever be decided by time-controls that do not quality as classical chess by the organizing body. I know this is the view of a Romantic dinosaur, but there you have it!

While I appreciate the drama of Nakamura’s routine streaming and his relaxed attitude (or the partial pretense of one: I believe that he is relatively relaxed about the tournament, but I don’t think he literally “does not care”), I’m not too interested in the ancillary drama in the form of Alireza’s ShoeGate followed by his—rather worked up—father being escorted from the venue, where he had the chance to launch a tirade to a reporter.