Wijk aan Zee 2008 starts on Saturday

1/12/2008 – The annual Wijk aan Zee tournament takes place from January 12th to 27th 2008. This year it is a category 20 event with an average rating of 2742, with Anand, Kramnik and Topalov participating. There are two more groups of strong grandmasters. A special treat awaits you: Playchess kicks off with live commentary by former FIDE World Champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov. Full information.

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Live Commentary on Playchess

Before we go into the details of this exciting tournament – Anand, Kramnik, Topalov, for crying out loud – we would like to inform you about live coverage on Playchess.com. We start off on Saturday with a special treat: former FIDE World Champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov will be kicking off with live audio and video commentary. Chess fans who have bought Kasimdzhanov's DVDs know how entertaining, eloquent and instructive this Grandmaster's commentary can be.


FIDE World Champion 2004-2005 and ChessBase author Rustam Kasimdzhanov


Rustam, here with IM Oliver Reeh, doing live audio and video commentary during the World Championship in Mexico. That was in German. The commentary for Wijk aan Zee will be in English.

The games start at 13:30h Royal Dutch time (you can translate this to your own time zone here). There will be about three one-hour broadcasts, beginning approximately thirty minutes after play has started. For a charge of ten Ducats (about one Euro) a visitor gets a twelve hour pass to listen to the live lectures.

Ducats are the currency used on Playchess.com. You can purchase Ducats here. The amount will be credited to your playchess.com account. You need to allow one working day for processing. If you want your Ducats immediately you can order them using our Click&Buy service. Ducats can also be used to buy ChessBase products. Note that you can also purchase Ducats directly from Fritz or the Playchess client using the menu "Edit – Payments – Fill up account". This takes you to a special purchase page with your account name automatically passed on, to simplify the process.

Starting from next week GM Yasser Seirawan will be taking over with live commentary.


Playchess commentator GM Yasser Seirawan


Wijk aan Zee 2008 – information and schedule

Wijk aan Zee (pronounced: whyk aahn zeh) is a small town on the coast of the North Sea in the municipality of Beverwijk in the province of North Holland of the Netherlands. The prestigious yearly Corus tournament, formerly called Hoogovens, takes place in three Grandmaster Groups. There are also a number of amateur groups taking part at the same time. The three Grandmaster tournaments have 14 players each and are round robins (each competitor plays against every other).

Participants of Grandmaster Group A

GM Viswanathan Anand IND 2799 1-2 Bio
GM Vladimir Kramnik RUS 2799 1-2 Bio
GM Veselin Topalov BUL 2780 3 Bio
GM Shakhryar Mamedyarov AZE 2760 6 Bio
GM Peter Leko HUN 2753 8 Bio
GM Vassily Ivanchuk UKR 2751 9 Bio
GM Levon Aronian ARM 2739 10 Bio
GM Boris Gelfand ISR 2737 11 Bio
GM Teymour Radjabov AZE 2735 12 Bio
GM Magnus Carlsen NOR 2733 13 Bio
GM Michael Adams ENG 2726 15-16 Bio
GM Judit Polgar HUN 2707 22 Bio
GM Pavel Eljanov UKR 2692 27 Bio
GM Loek van Wely NED 2681 35 Bio
Average rating: 2742 – Category: 20

Participants of Grandmaster Group B

GM Ivan Cheparinov BUL 2713 Bio
GM Etienne Bacrot FRA 2700 Bio
GM Sergey Movsesian SVK 2677 Bio
GM Gabriel Sargissian ARM 2676 Bio
GM Pentala Harikrishna IND 2664 Bio
GM Nigel Short ENG 2645 Bio
GM Michal Krasenkow POL 2636 Bio
GM Daniel Stellwagen NED 2625 Bio
GM Humpy Koneru IND 2612 Bio
GM Ian Nepomniachtchi RUS 2600 Bio
GM Erwin L’Ami NED 2581 Bio
GM Jan Smeets NED 2573 Bio
WGM Yifan Hou CHI 2527 Bio
IM Wouter Spoelman NED 2424 Bio
Average rating: 2618 – Category: 15

Participants of Grandmaster Group C

GM Fabiano Caruana ITA 2598
GM Friso Nijboer NED 2578
IM Arik Braun GER 2536
GM Dimitri Reinderman NED 2533
GM Parimarjan Negi IND 2526
GM Efstratios Grivas GRE 2509
GM Shilong Li CHI 2502
GM Pontus Carlsson SWE 2501
GM John van der Wiel NED 2490
WGM Anna Ushenina UKR 2484
WGM Irina Krush USA 2473
GM Zhaoqin Peng NED 2461
IM Mark van der Werf NED 2389
  Dennis Ruijgrok NED 2329
Average rating: 2486 – Category: 10

FIDE ratings of January 2008

Location: The tournament takes place in the De Moriaan Community Centre (Dorpsduinen 4, 1949 EG Wijk aan Zee) and the nearby bar de Zon. There is running commentary on the games of the Grandmaster Groups in a special Chess Pavilion, on the Village Green in Wijk aan Zee (one minute walk from De Moriaan).

Accommodation: For information contact the local Tourist Office. Stichting Toerisme Wijk aan Zee
Julianaplein 13-15, 1949 AT Wijk aan Zee. Telephone: + 31 (0)251 374253. E-mail: vvvwijkaanzee@ncn.nl Website: http://www.visitwijkaanzee.nl

Playing days in January 2008

Sat Sun Mon Tues Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun Mon Tues Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun
 12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27
                               
                               
                               

Games begin at 13:30h local time (CET), except for the last round on January 28th, which begins at 12:30h (Grandmaster group C starts at 11:30h hours in the last round). There are three rest days, on January 17th, 22nd, and 25th.

Schedule and pairings of Grandmaster Group A

Round 1 - Sat. Jan. 12th
V. Kramnik - L. van Wely  
T. Radjabov - V. Anand  
S. Mamedyarov - M. Carlsen  
P. Eljanov - P. Leko  
M. Adams - B. Gelfand  
L. Aronian - V. Topalov  
V. Ivanchuk - J. Polgar  
Round 2 - Sun. Jan. 13th
L. van Wely - J. Polgar  
V. Topalov - V. Ivanchuk  
B. Gelfand - L. Aronian  
P. Leko - M. Adams  
M. Carlsen - P. Eljanov  
V. Anand - S. Mamedyarov  
V. Kramnik - T. Radjabov  
Round 3 - Mon. Jan. 14th
T. Radjabov - L. van Wely  
S. Mamedyarov - V. Kramnik  
P. Eljanov - V. Anand  
M. Adams - M. Carlsen  
L. Aronian - P. Leko  
V. Ivanchuk - B. Gelfand  
J. Polgar - V. Topalov  
Round 4 - Tues. Jan. 15th
L. van Wely - V. Topalov  
B. Gelfand - J. Polgar  
P. Leko - V. Ivanchuk  
M. Carlsen - L. Aronian  
V. Anand - M. Adams  
V. Kramnik - P. Eljanov  
T. Radjabov - S. Mamedyarov  
Wednesday, January 16th – Free day
Round 5 - Thurs. Jan. 17th
S. Mamedyarov - L. van Wely  
P. Eljanov - T. Radjabov  
M. Adams - V. Kramnik  
L. Aronian - V. Anand  
V. Ivanchuk - M. Carlsen  
J. Polgar - P. Leko  
V. Topalov - B. Gelfand  
Round 6 - Fri. Jan. 18th
L. van Wely - B. Gelfand  
P. Leko - V. Topalov  
M. Carlsen - J. Polgar  
V. Anand - V. Ivanchuk  
V. Kramnik - L. Aronian  
T. Radjabov - M. Adams  
S. Mamedyarov - P. Eljanov  
Round 7 - Sat. Jan. 19st
P. Eljanov - L. van Wely  
M. Adams - S. Mamedyarov  
L. Aronian - T. Radjabov  
V. Ivanchuk - V. Kramnik  
J. Polgar - V. Anand  
V. Topalov - M. Carlsen  
B. Gelfand - P. Leko  
Round 8 - Sun. Jan. 20nd
L. van Wely - P. Leko  
M. Carlsen - B. Gelfand  
V. Anand - V. Topalov  
V. Kramnik - J. Polgar  
T. Radjabov - V. Ivanchuk  
S. Mamedyarov - L. Aronian  
P. Eljanov - M. Adams  
Monday, January 21st – Free day
Round 9 - Tues. Jan. 22th
M. Adams - L. van Wely  
L. Aronian - P. Eljanov  
V. Ivanchuk - S. Mamedyarov  
J. Polgar - T. Radjabov  
V. Topalov - V. Kramnik  
B. Gelfand - V. Anand  
P. Leko - M. Carlsen  
Round 10 - Wed. Jan. 23th
L. van Wely - M. Carlsen  
V. Anand - P. Leko  
V. Kramnik - B. Gelfand  
T. Radjabov - V. Topalov  
S. Mamedyarov - J. Polgar  
P. Eljanov - V. Ivanchuk  
M. Adams - L. Aronian  
Thursday, January 24th – Free day
Round 11 - Fri. Jan. 25th
L. Aronian - L. van Wely  
V. Ivanchuk - M. Adams  
J. Polgar - P. Eljanov  
V. Topalov - S. Mamedyarov  
B. Gelfand - T. Radjabov  
P. Leko - V. Kramnik  
M. Carlsen - V. Anand  
Round 12 - Sat. Jan. 26th
L. van Wely - V. Anand  
V. Kramnik - M. Carlsen  
T. Radjabov - P. Leko  
S. Mamedyarov - B. Gelfand  
P. Eljanov - V. Topalov  
M. Adams - J. Polgar  
L. Aronian - V. Ivanchuk  
Round 13 - Sun. Jan. 27th
V. Ivanchuk - L. van Wely  
J. Polgar - L. Aronian  
V. Topalov - M. Adams  
B. Gelfand - P. Eljanov  
P. Leko - S. Mamedyarov  
M. Carlsen - T. Radjabov  
V. Anand - V. Kramnik  
 

Schedule and pairings of Grandmaster Group B

Round 1 - Sat. Jan. 12th
P. Harikrishna - N. Short  
Y. Hou - E. Bacrot  
D. Stellwagen - M. Krasenkow  
W. Spoelman - I. Cheparinov  
S. Movsesian - G. Sargissian  
J. Smeets - H. Koneru  
I. Nepomniachtchi - E. L’Ami  
Round 2 - Sun. Jan. 13th
N. Short - E. L’Ami  
H. Koneru - I. Nepomniachtchi  
G. Sargissian - J. Smeets  
I. Cheparinov - S. Movsesian  
M. Krasenkow - W. Spoelman  
E. Bacrot - D. Stellwagen  
P. Harikrishna - Y. Hou  
Round 3 - Mon. Jan. 14th
Y. Hou - N. Short  
D. Stellwagen - P. Harikrishna  
W. Spoelman - E. Bacrot  
S. Movsesian - M. Krasenkow  
J. Smeets - I. Cheparinov  
I. Nepomniachtchi - G. Sargissian  
E. L’Ami - H. Koneru  
Round 4 - Tues. Jan. 15th
N. Short - H. Koneru  
G. Sargissian - E. L’Ami  
I. Cheparinov - I. Nepomniachtchi  
M. Krasenkow - J. Smeets  
E. Bacrot - S. Movsesian  
P. Harikrishna - W. Spoelman  
Y. Hou - D. Stellwagen  
Wednesday, January 16th – Free day
Round 5 - Thurs. Jan. 17th
D. Stellwagen - N. Short  
W. Spoelman - Y. Hou  
S. Movsesian - P. Harikrishna  
J. Smeets - E. Bacrot  
I. Nepomniachtchi - M. Krasenkow  
E. L’Ami - I. Cheparinov  
H. Koneru - G. Sargissian  
Round 6 - Fri. Jan. 18th
N. Short - G. Sargissian  
I. Cheparinov - H. Koneru  
M. Krasenkow - E. L’Ami  
E. Bacrot - I. Nepomniachtchi  
P. Harikrishna - J. Smeets  
Y. Hou - S. Movsesian  
D. Stellwagen - W. Spoelman  
Round 7 - Sat. Jan. 29st
W. Spoelman - N. Short  
S. Movsesian - D. Stellwagen  
J. Smeets - Y. Hou  
I. Nepomniachtchi - P. Harikrishna  
E. L’Ami - E. Bacrot  
H. Koneru - M. Krasenkow  
G. Sargissian - I. Cheparinov  
Round 8 - Sun. Jan. 20nd
N. Short - I. Cheparinov  
M. Krasenkow - G. Sargissian  
E. Bacrot - H. Koneru  
P. Harikrishna - E. L’Ami  
Y. Hou - I. Nepomniachtchi  
D. Stellwagen - J. Smeets  
W. Spoelman - S. Movsesian  
Monday, January 21st – Free day
Round 9 - Tues. Jan. 22th
S. Movsesian - N. Short  
J. Smeets - W. Spoelman  
I. Nepomniachtchi - D. Stellwagen  
E. L’Ami - Y. Hou  
H. Koneru - P. Harikrishna  
G. Sargissian - E. Bacrot  
I. Cheparinov - M. Krasenkow  
Round 10 - Wed. Jan. 23th
N. Short - M. Krasenkow  
E. Bacrot - I. Cheparinov  
P. Harikrishna - G. Sargissian  
Y. Hou - H. Koneru  
D. Stellwagen - E. L’Ami  
W. Spoelman - I. Nepomniachtchi  
S. Movsesian - J. Smeets  
Thursday, January 24th – Free day
Round 11 - Fri. Jan. 25th
J. Smeets - N. Short  
I. Nepomniachtchi - S. Movsesian  
E. L’Ami - W. Spoelman  
H. Koneru - D. Stellwagen  
G. Sargissian - Y. Hou  
I. Cheparinov - P. Harikrishna  
M. Krasenkow - E. Bacrot  
Round 12 - Sat. Jan. 26th
N. Short - E. Bacrot  
P. Harikrishna - M. Krasenkow  
Y. Hou - I. Cheparinov  
D. Stellwagen - G. Sargissian  
W. Spoelman - H. Koneru  
S. Movsesian - E. L’Ami  
J. Smeets - I. Nepomniachtchi  
Round 13 - Sun. Jan. 27th
I. Nepomniachtchi - N. Short  
E. L’Ami - J. Smeets  
H. Koneru - S. Movsesian  
G. Sargissian - W. Spoelman  
I. Cheparinov - D. Stellwagen  
M. Krasenkow - Y. Hou  
E. Bacrot - P. Harikrishna  
 

Schedule and pairings of Grandmaster Group C

Round 1 - Sat. Jan. 12th
S. Li - I. Krush  
A. Ushenina - J. van der Wiel  
F. Nijboer - A. Braun  
P. Negi - P. Carlsson  
Z. Peng - F. Caruana  
M. van der Werf - E. Grivas  
D. Ruijgrok - D. Reinderman  
Round 2 - Sun. Jan. 13th
I. Krush - D. Reinderman  
E. Grivas - D. Ruijgrok  
F. Caruana - M. van der Werf  
P. Carlsson - Z. Peng  
A. Braun - P. Negi  
J. van der Wiel - F. Nijboer  
S. Li - A. Ushenina  
Round 3 - Mon. Jan. 14th
A. Ushenina - I. Krush  
F. Nijboer - S. Li  
P. Negi - J. van der Wiel  
Z. Peng - A. Braun  
M. van der Werf - P. Carlsson  
D. Ruijgrok - F. Caruana  
D. Reinderman - E. Grivas  
Round 4 - Tues. Jan. 15th
I. Krush - E. Grivas  
F. Caruana - D. Reinderman  
P. Carlsson - D. Ruijgrok  
A. Braun - M. van der Werf  
J. van der Wiel - Z. Peng  
S. Li - P. Negi  
A. Ushenina - F. Nijboer  
Wednesday, January 16th – Free day
Round 5 - Thurs. Jan. 17th
F. Nijboer - I. Krush  
P. Negi - A. Ushenina  
Z. Peng - S. Li  
M. van der Werf - J. van der Wiel  
D. Ruijgrok - A. Braun  
D. Reinderman - P. Carlsson  
E. Grivas - F. Caruana  
Round 6 - Fri. Jan. 18th
I. Krush - F. Caruana  
P. Carlsson - E. Grivas  
A. Braun - D. Reinderman  
J. van der Wiel - D. Ruijgrok  
S. Li - M. van der Werf  
A. Ushenina - Z. Peng  
F. Nijboer - P. Negi  
Round 7 - Sat. Jan. 19st
P. Negi - I. Krush  
Z. Peng - F. Nijboer  
M. van der Werf - A. Ushenina  
D. Ruijgrok - S. Li  
D. Reinderman - J. van der Wiel  
E. Grivas - A. Braun  
F. Caruana - P. Carlsson  
Round 8 - Sun. Jan. 20nd
I. Krush - P. Carlsson  
A. Braun - F. Caruana  
J. van der Wiel - E. Grivas  
S. Li - D. Reinderman  
A. Ushenina - D. Ruijgrok  
F. Nijboer - M. van der Werf  
P. Negi - Z. Peng  
Monday, January 21st – Free day
Round 9 - Tues. Jan. 22th
Z. Peng - I. Krush  
M. van der Werf - P. Negi  
D. Ruijgrok - F. Nijboer  
D. Reinderman - A. Ushenina  
E. Grivas - S. Li  
F. Caruana - J. van der Wiel  
P. Carlsson - A. Braun  
Round 10 - Wed. Jan. 23th
I. Krush - A. Braun  
J. van der Wiel - P. Carlsson  
S. Li - F. Caruana  
A. Ushenina - E. Grivas  
F. Nijboer - D. Reinderman  
P. Negi - D. Ruijgrok  
Z. Peng - M. van der Werf  
Thursday, January 24th – Free day
Round 11 - Fri. Jan. 25th
M. van der Werf - I. Krush  
D. Ruijgrok - Z. Peng  
D. Reinderman - P. Negi  
E. Grivas - F. Nijboer  
F. Caruana - A. Ushenina  
P. Carlsson - S. Li  
A. Braun - J. van der Wiel  
Round 12 - Sat. Jan. 26th
I. Krush - J. van der Wiel  
S. Li - A. Braun  
A. Ushenina - P. Carlsson  
F. Nijboer - F. Caruana  
P. Negi - E. Grivas  
Z. Peng - D. Reinderman  
M. van der Werf - D. Ruijgrok  
Round 13 - Sun. Jan. 27th
D. Ruijgrok - I. Krush  
D. Reinderman - M. van der Werf  
E. Grivas - Z. Peng  
F. Caruana - P. Negi  
P. Carlsson - F. Nijboer  
A. Braun - A. Ushenina  
J. van der Wiel - S. Li  
 

Impressions of the opening


Players and photographers – Humpy and Fred Lucas – leave the De Moriaan hall to
take a bus trip to the opening ceremony


GM Efstratios Grivas of Greece with World Champion Vishy Anand


GMs Nigel Short and Michael Adams (in the background Koneru Humpy and father)


During the drawing of colours at the opening ceremony


Chocolate chess pieces at the opening ceremony buffet, with a black bishop and
knight reversed, as a number of readers informed us (they see EVERYthing)


Even the cake is made in the form of a chess set – but the kings and queens are not...
ah well, the corner square is right, and it is the thought that counts.

We received the above pictures from GM Efstratios Grivas with the message "A present. I hope that you like it!" (yes we do, Stratos!). The pictures were taken with an Olympus µ740, a popular camera in Greece.


Wijk aan Zee Preview – the Day Before

Photo report by Frits Agterdenbos


Entering Wijk aan Zee: banner announcing the tournament


The Corus Chess 2008 flag


Giant king in front of playing venue De Moriaan


Playing venue Community Centre De Moriaan


Entrance of playing venue De Moriaan


Playing hall under construction


Red and black are the dominating colors in the playing hall


The Chess Pavilion (commentary room) with the Corus Chess Lane


The Voorstraat in Wijk aan Zee

All pictures © ChessVista – Frits Agterdenbos


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