Corus 2009: participants Grandmastergroups A, B and C

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Corus B and CThe A group had already been announced, and now the last contracts for B and C have been signed as well. We have all the names of the participants in Grandmastergroups A, B and C of Corus 2009 for you.

Magnus Carlsen (Norway), who turned 18 last Sunday, is one of the favourites to win the 71st edition of the Corus Chess Tournament, together with routiniers Alexander Morozevich (Russia) and Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine). Carlsen won the jubilee event in January this year together with the Armenian grandmaster Levon Aronian. Like Carlsen, Aronian is also one of the participants in next year's event.

The two titleholders will meet Morozevich and Ivanchuk as their main rivals. Both had a very successful year in 2008 and are currently ranked second and third in the world.

Five players will make their debut in the A-group: the young Dutch grandmasters Jan Smeets and Daniel Stellwagen, the sensational Wang Yue from China, who climbed up to the 11th place on the latest world ranking list, the winner of Grandmastergroup B in 2008, Sergei Movsesian, and reigning blitz world champion grandmaster Leinier Dominguez from Cuba (ranked 21st on the FIDE October rating list).

[TABLE=446]



Average rating: 2719 Category: 19

Grandmastergroup B is stronger than ever, with an average rating of 2631. Remarkable names in this group include former World Champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov (Uzbekistan) and former World Championship Candidate Henrique Mecking (Brazil).

[TABLE=520]



Average rating: 2631 Category: 16

In Grandmastergroup C former top player Oleg Romanishin (Ukraine) is one of the 14 participants. Romanishin won the recently held Cultural Village Tournament in Wijk aan Zee. Young GM Eduardo Iturrizaga (Venezuela) qualified early November by winning the ICC Online Qualifier, while Manuel Bosboom (The Netherlands) and Frank Holzke (Germany) gained their places in the C-group by winning the two highest amateur events (nine-rounds-all-play-all) in January 2008.

Besides, two more names are remarkable: the two Junior World Champions Abhijeet Gupta (boys under 20) and Dronavalli Harika (girls under 20) will participate. Harika and Gupta both represent India.

[TABLE=521]



Average rating: 2512 Category: 11

New rate of play in 2009 As from January 2009, the rate of play in Grandmaster groups A, B and C will change. The rate of play will be: 40 moves in 2 hours, then 20 moves in 1 hour, followed by 15 minutes with 30 seconds per move increment to finish the game.

2,000 chess players The 71st Corus Chess Tournament will take place in Wijk aan Zee, from January 16th to February 1st, 2009. Together with all amateur players and participants in the special groups, approximately 2,000 chess players are expected to come to Wijk aan Zee for the traditional chess festival in the small beach village at the west coast of The Netherlands, approximately 25 kilometers from Amsterdam.

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