Tournaments to watch and look forward to

by ChessBase
1/1/2008 – The new year starts with two strong events – Reggio Emilia and Hastings – already under way, and three big ones coming up. The first is the ACP World Rapid in Odessa, Ukraine, then the Corus Chess Tournament in Wijk aan Zee and the Morelia-Linares Super-GM, with Anand, Kramnik, Topalov, Ivanchuk and others. Full information and links.

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50th "Torneo di Capodanno" in Reggio Emilia

This is taking place from December 29th, 2007, to January 6th, 2008. The standings after three rounds is as follows:

Hastings Chess Congress

The 83rd Hastings International Congress is taking place from December 28th, 2007, to January 6th, 2008. It consists of a ten-round Swiss and an open FIDE Rated tournament. We will be reporting on Hastings every few days.

The Second ACP World Rapid Cup, organised by the Pivdenny Bank, will take place in Odessa, Ukraine, from January 4th to 7th, 2008.

The venue is the Londonskaya Hotel in the heart of the city. It was opened 160 years ago and offers spectacular views of the Black Sea and famous Potyomkin Stairs. The Londonskaya is regarded as one of Odessa’s finest hotels, with opulence, elegance and old world charm.

Dmitry Jakovenko, Vassily Ivanchuk, Teimour Radjabov, Evgeny Najer, Sergey Karjakin, Peter Svidler, Alexander Shabalov, Pavel Eljanov, Ernesto Inarkiev, Boris Savchenko, Alexei Shirov, Boris Gelfand and Yuri Drozdovsky

Participants in the ACP World Rapid

No. Player nat. born rating
 1  Svidler, Peter  RUS  1976  2763
 2  Shirov, Alexei  ESP  1972  2755
 3  Ivanchuk, Vassily  UKR  1969  2751
 4  Gelfand, Boris  ISR  1968  2737
 5  Radjabov, Teimour  AZE  1987  2735
 6  Karjakin, Sergey  UKR  1990  2732
 7  Jakovenko, Dmitry  RUS  1983  2720
 8  Grischuk, Alexander  RUS  1983  2711
 9  Polgar, Judit  HUN  1976  2707
10  Eljanov, Pavel  UKR  1983  2692
11  Inarkiev, Ernesto  RUS  1985  2681
12  Karpov, Anatoly  RUS  1951  2655

The other players who have qualified are Evgeny Najer, Alexander Shabalov, Boris Savchenko and Yuri Drozdovsky. The prize fund of the tournament is US $136,000.

January 2008
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The Corus Chess Tournament 2008 will have all the big guns: Anand, Kramnik, Topalov and Ivanchuk. It will be held from 11-27 January 2008 in Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands. The tournament venue is the De Moriaan Community Centre (Dorpsduinen 4, 1949 EG Wijk aan Zee) and the nearby bar de Zon. The participants have just been announced and it is billed as one of the world's strongest chess tournaments (category 20).

Participants of GM Group A

No. Player nat. born rating
 1 GM Viswanathan Anand IND 1969 2801
 2 GM Vassily Ivanchuk UKR 1969 2787
 3 GM Vladimir Kramnik RUS 1975 2785
 4 GM Veselin Topalov BUL 1975 2769
 5 GM Peter Leko HUN 1979 2755
 6 GM Shakhryar Mamedyarov AZE 1985 2752
 7 GM Teymour Radjabov AZE 1987 2742
 8 GM Levon Aronian ARM 1982 2741
 9 GM Boris Gelfand ISR 1968 2736
10 GM Michael Adams ENG 1971 2729
11 GM Magnus Carlsen NOR 1990 2714
12 GM Judit Polgar HUN 1976 2708
13 GM Pavel Eljanov UKR 1983 2681
14 GM Loek van Wely NED 1972 2680

The average rating is 2741, the category is 20. The Corus Chess Tournament has two other GM tournaments:

Participants Grandmaster Group B

GM Etienne Bacrot FRA 2695
GM Gabriel Sargissian ARM 2673
GM Ivan Cheparinov BUL 2670
GM Sergey Movsesian SLK 2670
GM Pentala Harikrishna IND 2668
GM Michal Krasenkow POL 2668
GM Nigel Short ENG 2649
GM Daniel Stellwagen NED 2639
GM Ian Nepomniachtchi RUS 2611
GM Koneru Humpy IND 2606
GM Erwin L’Ami NED 2577
GM Jan Smeets NED 2558
WGM Hou Yifan CHI 2502
IM Wouter Spoelman NED 2445

Average rating: 2617 – Category : 15


Participants Grandmaster Group C

GM Evgenij Miroshnichenko UKR 2651
GM Fabiano Caruana ITA 2594
GM Friso Nijboer NED 2559
IM Arik Braun GER 2541
GM Parimarjan Negi IND 2514
GM Dimitri Reinderman NED 2510
GM Efstratios Grivas GRE 2509
GM John van der Wiel NED 2496
WGM Anna Ushenina UKR 2486
GM Pontus Carlsson SWE 2481
WGM Irina Krush USA 2475
GM Zhaoqin Peng NED 2419
IM Mark van der Werf NED 2389
  Dennis Ruijgrok NED 2330

Average rating: 2497 – Category : 10

All three Grandmaster groups have 14 players and are round robins, starting on January 12th. All rounds begin at 13.30 hours, except for the last round on January 27th, which begins at 12.30 hours (Grandmaster group C starts at 11.30 hours in the last round). There are rest days: on January 16th, 21st, and 24th.

There are also four amateur events during the Corus Chess Tournament, open to all players: Weekend-three-round events (11-13 January), Weekday-three-round-events (14-16 January), Nine-round events (18-27 January) and the Rapid Tournament (19-20 January).

Wijk aan Zee

Wijk aan Zee is a small town on the coast of the North Sea, a popular tourist destination, especially in the Summer, when its sand beaches are beautiful and idyllic. In Winter, on the other hand, Wijk can be brutal. Freezing temperatures paired with a driving, icy wind, hardly make it a destination for the faint-hearted.

We are planning to spend a few days in Wijk for the 2008 tournament. In order to prepare we took a test vacation between Christmas and New Year to a very similar German town to the north of Wijk. Above you see your intrepid reporter (Fred Friedel) testing his Winter Chess Tournament gear. The anorak is a high-tech multi-layered affair which keeps all bad things out (wind, rain, ice, liquid ammonia) while allowing good things to pass (fresh air in, sweat out). The boots and gloves are heavily padded. Scott would have survived with this kind of equipment. We are confident that we will make it to Wijk and back safely.


February 2008
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March 2008
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Morelia-Linares 2008

The 25th Morelia-Linares chess tournament will once again be split between two cities (actually two continents). It is a double round robin with eight players. The first half takes place in Morelia, Mexico, from February 15 to 23; the second half is in Linares, Spain, and goes from February 28 to March 7.

The eight participants are given in the table below. Actually we copied the table from Wijk aan Zee, deleted a few names and added one (Alexei Shirov), to get the Morelia-Linares list. Goes to show that many of these top tournaments have the same players – in both we miss only Vladimir Kramnik and Alexander Morozevich.

No. Player nat. born rating
 1 GM Viswanathan Anand IND 1969 2801
 2 GM Vassily Ivanchuk UKR 1969 2787
 3 GM Veselin Topalov BUL 1975 2769
 5 GM Peter Leko HUN 1979 2755
 7 GM Teymour Radjabov AZE 1987 2742
 8 GM Levon Aronian ARM 1982 2741
 9 GM Alexei Shirov ESP 1972 2739
11 GM Magnus Carlsen NOR 1990 2714

We are planning to go to Morelia as well. Why? Well, apart from the great chess players and the hopefully great chess, we love this Mexican town, which is warm and sunny, with colonial style buildings, lots of friendly people, a relaxed atmosphere, and did we mention: warm and sunny?

The main street of Morelia, with the Mexican sun shining cheerfully

This is the place we return to: northern Germany, covered with snow

Your intrepid reporter still not out of his Morelia gear last year

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