Corus again stronger than ever

0 | Chess Event Coverage
The organizers of the Corus Chess Tournament again succeeded in bringing together a stronger participants list than ever before. In the Grandmaster group A of the 70th edition, 11-27 January 2008, not only the fresh world champion Anand plays but also the numbers 2, 3, 4 and 6 of the WCC in Mexico. (The organizers state, just like the Mexico organizers, that it will be the "strongest tournament in history" but that's questionable.)

Besides Anand, Kramnik, Gelfand, Leko and Aronian also Topalov, Ivanchuk, Mamedyarov and Radjabov will participate in the traditional tournament at Wijk aan Zee. Loek van Wely will be the Dutch participant.

Strongest tournament Don't get me wrong, I'm impressed too by the field. But "strongest tournament ever" is probably not correct. Mark Crowther already expressed his doubts when the Mexicans said the same a month ago. According to him, the strongest tournament ever held is Las Palmas 1996, with category 21 and an average rating of 2756. Participants were Kasparov, Anand, Kramnik, Topalov, Karpov and Ivanchuk. Then comes Dortmund 2001 (cat. 21, ave. 2755) and Linares 1998 (cat. 21, ave. 2752).

Four-event match Both main sponsor Corus and the tournament committee have decided to organize a double-round four-event match with former winners. Participants will be Viktor Kortchnoi (who won four times), Lajos Portisch (won four times), Jan Timman (won twice), and Ljubomir Ljubojevich (won once). The ?¢‚ǨÀúHonorary Group' will play in the last week of the tournament, at the same time as the traditional decathlons.

B and C Besides these two special groups the grandmasters groups B en C are being organized. In the grandmasters group B Nigel Short, who won two times in group A, and Etienne Bacrot, a young and strong player from France (21st on the world rankings of October 2007), have confirmed their participation. The participants in these two groups will be announced later by the Corus Chess organization.

Renewed website As of today the complete chess history of the Corus Chess Tournament can be found on the tournament website. For more than a year international master Ruud Janssen has worked on the website, together with webmaster Dennis van Veen. The result is excellent: from now on statistics, final scores and all games can be found easily on this website.

Participants Grandmaster Group A 2008

Name                    Birth Rating World 

GM Viswanathan Anand 1969 2801 1 GM Vassily Ivanchuk 1969 2787 2 GM Vladimir Kramnik 1975 2785 3 GM Veselin Topalov 1975 2769 4 GM Peter Leko 1979 2755 5 GM Shakhryar Mamedyarov 1985 2752 7 GM Teymour Radjabov 1987 2742 8 GM Levon Aronian 1982 2741 9 GM Boris Gelfand 1968 2736 11 GM Michael Adams 1971 2729 13 GM Magnus Carlsen 1990 2714 17 GM Judit Polgar 1976 2708 20 GM Pavel Eljanov 1983 2681 30 GM Loek van Wely 1972 2680 32

Average rating: 2741 Category: 20

Participants honorary four-event match 2008

Name                    Birth Rating  CCT

GM Viktor Kortchnoi 1931 2611 4 GM Lajos Portisch 1937 2530 4 GM Jan Timman 1951 2559 2 GM Ljubomir Ljubojevic 1950 2550 1

The 70th Corus Chess Tournament is being held from January 11 to January 27 2008.
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