Twan Burg wins Corus study competition

by ChessBase
2/13/2009 – Normally it is John Nunn who wins these things – serially. But during the Wijk aan Zee tournament the British grandmaster and double solving world champion had to bow to an 18-year-old solver from the Dutch town of Schijndel. Twan Burg scored 36 out of 45 possible points (to Nunn's 32). We bring you an example of the incredible studies the participants were given – for you to solve.

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Corus Studies Day: Twan Burg – a stunning victory

By IM Yochanan Afek

The talk of the day in Wijk aan Zee, was the amazing performance of young Twan Burg in the first Corus solving tourney for endgame studies. The 18-year-old HMC Den Bosch player from Schijndel (a small town in the province of Brabant in the Netherlands) emerged a clear victor, ahead of a highly experienced field, including two times solving world champion GM John Nunn and members of the Dutch and Belgian national solving teams.

The study solving champion in Wijk: Twan Burg from Schijndel

22 solvers worked hard for three hours, to crack nine tough studies, especially created for this event by such composers as Jan Timman, Yochanan Afek, Piotr Murdzia, Andjey Jasik, Gady Costeff, Ilham Aliev and Siegfried Hornecker. None of the solvers managed to solve them all, but Twan came first by conquering seven of them. He scored 36 points out of the maximum of 45.

Second prize for double solving world champion John Nunn (left Yochanan Afek, Corus treasurer Arno Vrins)

The favourite, British GM John Nunn, ended up second, scoring 32 points, ahead of the Belgian champion Eddy van Beers, who had 28 points. Following the money prize winners came Dutch solving champion GM Dolf Wissmann and Martin van Essen, with 22 points each.

Participants and press at the prize giving

The event was sponsored by Corus tournament, ARVES (the Dutch-Flemisch association for Endgame studies) and Harold van der Heijden. Chief arbiter was Ward Stoffelen from Belgium. Corus officials Theo Hoogland and Arno Vrins expressed their wish to host the event also next year as part of the world's most prestigious chess festival.

Famed expert and collector Harold van der Heijden presents solving GM Dolf Wissman his famous database of 70,000 studies as a prize.

A special booklet (edited by Luc Palmans and printed by Bernd Ellinghoven) was presented with the full award of last year's monumental Corus-70 composing JT for endgame studies and distributed among the players.

IM Yochanan Afek, the initiator and organiser of the Study Day in Wijk

This year we have also witnessed an immense growth in the popularity of the daily Corus two-mover challengers. An average of 500 daily entries on the official website and dozens of daily visitors as well as players and officials in the tournament venue, regularly handed in their solutions. The chief arbiter asked every day for copies for all his colleagues, using it as an enjoyable pastime during the lengthy playing sessions. Even GM Vassily Ivanchuk was seen solving a challenger while playing against GM Karjakin, and smiling when he finally found the key, which eventually seemed to inspire his splendid victorious performance in this game…

Afek presenting the solution to one of the studies from the competition

Here is a tough nut from the Corus Study Day 2009

Gady Costeff, The Problemist 2009

White to play and draw

Editorial note: The solution to this incredible study will be given here in a few days. We urge our readers to try and solve it themselves. The solution contains one of the most astonishing moves and beautiful traps we have encountered in a long while. Note that we are unable to publish the other equally spectacular studies yet, since they are being submitted for prizes. We hope that with Yochanan Afek's help we will be able to show them to you when they are free for reproduction.

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