A Bright Start In Corus

A Bright Start In Corus

| 9 | Chess Event Coverage

There were few signs in Wijk Aan Zee of the usual first round caution that is often witnessed in many chess events.  Instead, there were many interesting games and a huge upset in the A group - bottom seed Jan Smeets (pictured) beat top seed Vassily Ivanchuk with the black pieces.

It might be more accurate to say that Ivanchuk actually beat himself, since he lost on time in a level position!  Chucky may be an excellent blitz player, but his habitual time trouble in long time-control games is a major flaw.

The home crowd should have had even more to shout about, but Stellwagen let a promising position slip away in time trouble against Movsesian and agreed to a draw, whilst Van Wely tried but failed to win a Rook v Knight ending.

The other decisive game of the day in the A group was also a ratings upset.  Ivanchuk's fellow Ukrainian, Sergei Karjakin blew away Alexander Morozevich in a razor-sharp Sicilian Paulsen when Moro missed a spectacular combination.

But the star turn of the day was the clash between Carlsen and Radajabov.  Carlsen might have been expecting the Dragon, so when Radjabov played 2...e6, he responded with 3.g3 to avoid any opening preparation - a practical choice!  Carlsen later played the truly spectacular 14.Bh6, but despite achieving an ending with a pawn advantage, the win was elusive, as Radjabov's active rooks held the draw.

The results in round 1:

 Karjakin, Sergey    Morozevich, Alexander    1-0    Sicilian Paulsen
 Aronian, Levon   Wang Yue  ½-½   Slav Defence
 Carlsen, Magnus   Radjabov, Teimour  ½-½   Sicilian Classical
 Kamsky, Gata   Adams, Michael  ½-½   Ruy Lopez Classical
 Stellwagen, Daniël   Movsesian, Sergei  ½-½   Sicilian Scheveningen
 Van Wely, Loek   Dominguez Perez, Leinier  ½-½   Gruenfeld Defence
 Ivanchuk, Vassily   Smeets, Jan  0-1   Anti-Meran Gambit

The B and C groups also started with bang, with 4 and 5 wins out of 7 games respectively!  Visit the official site for more details.

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