Wijk aan Zee Super-GM starts on Saturday

1/14/2010 – We hear a collective sigh of relief: after the Tal Memorial, the World Blitz, the London Chess Classic and the World Team Championship (ended yesterday), some chess fans out there were feeling a twinge of withdrawal. Not to worry: top GMs are currently arriving in the Dutch seaside town for the annual chess festival. We will provide full coverage on Playchess. Here are the tournament details.

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Wijk aan Zee 2010 – information and schedule

Wijk aan Zee 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.


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The prestigious yearly tournament 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

Title Player Nat.
Rating
rank
born
GM Magnus Carlsen NOR
2810
1
1990
GM Viswanathan Anand IND
2790
3
1969
GM Vladimir Kramnik RUS
2788
4
1975
GM Vassily Ivanchuk UKR
2749
8
1969
GM Peter Leko HUN
2739
12
1979
GM Alexei Shirov SPA
2723
20
1972
GM Sergey Karjakin RUS
2720
21
1990
GM Leinier Dominguez CUB
2712
25
1983
GM Hikaru Nakamura USA
2708
28
1987
GM Nigel Short ENG
2696
38
1965
GM Fabiano Caruana ITA
2675
51
1992
GM Sergey Tiviakov NED
2662
62
1973
GM Jan Smeets NED
2657
73
1985
GM Loek van Wely NED
2641
104
1972
Average rating: 2719 – Category: 19

The average rating in Group A is almost exactly the same as in the previous year: 2719, making this a category 19 tournament. At the top is the world's highest rated player, Magnus Carlsen, followed by World Champion Viswanathan Anand and former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik. Hikaru Nakamura comes straight from his resounding success in the World Team Championships in Bursa, Turkey, and is good for providing interesting games. Two players from last year's Group B have moved up to the A section: Nigel Short, former World Championship challenger, and Fabiano Caruana, who at 17 is Italy's strongest ever grandmaster. Sergey Karjakin, you might remember, is the winner of last year's event.

Participants of Grandmaster Group B

Title Player
Nat.
Rating
born
GM Arkadij Naiditsch
GER
2687
1985
GM Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu
ROM
2681
1976
GM Pentala Harikrishna
IND
2672
1986
GM Hua Ni
CHN
2657
1983
GM Emil Sutovsky
ISR
2657
1977
GM Wesley So
PHI
2656
1993
GM Tomi Nyback
FIN
2643
1985
GM Varuzhan Akobian
USA
2628
1983
GM Parimarjan Negi
IND
2621
1993
GM Erwin l'Ami
NED
2615
1985
GM David Howell
ENG
2606
1990
GM Anish Giri
NED
2588
1994
GM Dimitri Reinderman
NED
2573
1972
WGM Anna Muzychuk
SLO
2523
1990
Average rating: 2629 – Category: 16

Eleven players are rated over 2600, and there are three interesting youngsters in the field: Wesley So and Parimarjan Negi, both 16 years old, and Dutch champion Anish Giri, who is just 15. Anna Muzychuk, the only female in the field, is 19 and the number seven ranked women player in the world.

Participants of Grandmaster Group C

Title Player
Nat.
Rating
born
GM Li Chao
CHN
2604
1989
GM Abhijeet Gupta
IND
2577
1989
GM Ray Robson
USA
2570
1994
GM Kjetil Lie
NOR
2547
1980
IM Nils Grandelius
SWE
2515
1993
GM Robin Swinkels
NED
2495
1989
GM Daniele Vocaturo
ITA
2495
1989
IM Robin van Kampen
NED
2456
1994
WGM Marya Muzychuk
UKR
2447
1992
GM Zhaoqin Peng
NED
2402
1968
FM Stefan Kuipers
NED
2340
1990
WGM Soumya Swaminathan
IND
2323
1989
FM Benjamin Bok
NED
2322
1995
Sjoerd Plukkel
NED
2279
1983
Average rating: 2455 – Category: 11

In Group C the average has dropped by 66 points, but the category is maintained. There are three female players, including the sister of Anna Muzychuk, Marya, and the eleven-times Dutch Women's Champion Zhaoqin Peng, who at 41 is the oldest player in the field. The youngest is FM Benjamin Bok, 14, followed by GM Ray Robson and IM Robin van Kampen.

Rate of play
For all three groups the rate of play is 40 moves in two hours, then 20 moves in one hour, followed by 15 minutes for the rest of the game, with a 30 second increment per move.

Location: The tournament takes place in the De Moriaan Community Centre (Dorpsduinen 4, 1949 EG Wijk aan Zee). 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. VVV IJmond Noord, Julianaplein 13-15, 1949 AT Wijk aan Zee. Telephone: + 31 (0)251 374253. E-mail: info@vvvijmondnoord.nl Website: http://www.visitwijkaanzee.nl

Schedule (playing days)

January 2010
M T W T F S S
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Games begin at 13:30h local time (CET), except for the last round on January 31st, which begins at 12:30h. There are three rest days, on January 20th, 25th, and 28th.

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