Ship runs aground – in Wijk aan Zee

by ChessBase
1/21/2012 – That's right, not the Mediterranean, where the luxury liner Costa Concordia hit rocks last Friday, causing many fatalities and the potential pollution of a beautiful sea coast. No, this was a Philippine cargo ship, and it ran aground a stone's throw from the chess tournament in Wijk aan Zee. Our colleagues Axel Eger and Joachim Schulze sent us pictures of the incident and Wijk in general.

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The 74th Tata Steel Chess Tournament will take place from January 13 to 29, 2012 in the sports hall Moriaan in Wijk aan Zee. There are three grandmaster tournaments with fourteen players each playing thirteen rounds at 100 minutes for 40 moves, then 50 minutes for 20 moves and finally 15 minutes for the rest of the game, with a 30 seconds/move increment starting with the first move of the game. Rest days are on January 18, 23, and 26.

Philippine cargo ship stranded off Wijk aan Zee coast

It was the most exciting thing since Carlsen vs Giri: a 155 metre long Philippine ship, the Aztec Maiden, carrying 21 crew and no cargo, was stranded off the beach of Wijk aan Zee. Hundreds of local people gathered to watch the stranded vessel. There were no reports of injuries after the ship broke free and drifted, coming to rest on sand about 200 metres offshore. A local salvage firm will try to refloat the ship at high tide, the coastguard said.

The ship and a lone spectator on the beach

From the player's hotel the ship looks alarmingly close

The North Sea lashes at the stranded ship

Amateur video footage of the stranded ship – the noise is the famous Wijk wind

And here professional night-time footage by NOS Netherlands

Chess players and visitors stream down from the hotel (on the dune)...

... to watch and supervise the rescue operations on shore

The Dutch rescue operation begins

A Dutch naval helicopter inspects the scene, but finds no sign of fuel leaking

Everyone wants to help...

Impressions from Wijk and round six

Fifteen-year-old GM Ilya Nyzhnik in group B, currently with 50% and a 2618 performance

IM Tania Sachdev from India is playing in the C Group...

... while her compatriot GM Harika Drona is struggling in the B Group...

... as is Dutch player Anne Haast in the C Group

Can't I simply take on d5? Just kidding: Elisabeth Pähtz discusses strategy before
the start of her game with her father, GM Thomas Pähtz...

... and then stops for a quick chat with buddy Tania Sachdev

The 17-year-old GM on the left defeated the 37-year-old veteran on the right

The Hotel Het Hoge Duin, where the B and C groups are lodging

A typical Wijk aan Zee street, with the pub "De Liefhebbers", where the journalist tournament is held

This chess poster is displayed in almost every shop

A bus stop in – well, just read the sign, if you will

This popular restaurant is called Little Switzerland

All pictures by Axel Eger and Joachim Schulze


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