It's been a crazy May and many thanks to all those who have congratulated me for making my second GM norm. Needless to say, I am absolutely delighted to make it over the line but I wish to emphasize that I would never have made it without the help and support of my family and friends, my understanding colleagues, my teammates, and a huge amount of luck. Thank you all!
I will also like to emphasize just how critical GM Zhang Zhong's inclusion in the team is. He is truly a remarkable player given that he had not played a competitive game since May 2011 (Zonals, had to teach at his chess club, look after his 2 kids and still managed to hold his own easily against active top players like Sasikiran (2720) and Wang Yue (2690) and a few other 2500+ players.
One characteristic of his play is the amount of grit and determination he displays in each game. A simple illustration is his game against Kazakhstan GM Rinat Djumabayev, where he was close to losing but fought on gallantly, making it difficult for his opponent to consolidate each turn. His opponent eventually cracked and allowed Zhang Zhong to save the draw. I don't care what a lot of people are saying about foreign talents, people like Zhang Zhong and Wu Shaobin are role models and locals have a lot to learn from them.
More analyses will be up shortly but for now, please read this to see my comments on my game with Li Chao. Digressing slightly, I recently had a conversation with a local senior player who told me he was too busy to read SCN - a real surprise to me as I cannot imagine anyone who's at least a little bit concerned about the local chess scene, not bothering to read SCN. SCN provides extensive coverage like no other local chess magazine or websites has done before and there clearly is a lot to gain but hey, to each his own. :)