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Corus 2006 Field

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January 13-29, Wijk aan Zee. Official site. A powerhouse group as always. Only current top tenners not there are Svidler and Polgar. Aronian and Bacrot get their elite credentials checked. Karjakin gets to show if he's ready for prime time. Top-rated American Gata Kamsky will play in his first supertournament in ten years. He was rock-solid in the Continental Championship a few months ago and will have to kick it up another notch here. An even score in this crowd would be a major achievement.

A Group: Topalov, Anand, Leko, Ivanchuk, Kramnik, Bacrot, Aronian, Adams, Gelfand, Tiviakov, Sokolov, Kamsky, Karjakin, van Wely. Nothing about the B and C groups yet. The B group has steadily become a very strong and interesting tournament in its own right. After his amazing play in San Luis (yes, I know the tournament is still going), will anyone pick against Topalov until he shows he's human?

Heh, the item by Gert Ligterink currently on the homepage of the Corus site (in Dutch) shows he's on the ball. He mentions the "Kasparov passing the torch to Topalov in Linares" meme as heard from "an American chess-lover." I believe Jeremy first mentioned it in these terms in the comments to our round 5 item before I mentioned it two days ago.


I just can see myself at a swimming pool (summer in Brazil), beer, caipirinha (Anandīs favorite drink, by the way), a wireless laptop and chicks around watching me explaining what went wrong to Topalov against Ivanchuk. (ok, I am a deluded freak. But wouldnīt it be nice?)

What do you all think about Karjakin's chances at this tournament? To take a break from all the talk of Topalov as the current champ, this young man could be next. But does he even have a chance to break even in a field such as this, at this point in his career? If he plays like he did at the Euro championships this summer... who knows? It's hard to imagine him finishing higher than any of the top seven names here, though (Topalov down through Aronian).

Very promising line-up! Nice to see less familiar names. i've never seen Kamsky play yet, nor Karjakin in a top tournament, so this should prove highly interesting.

Corus: What a stunning, frightening field!
"Ok, after all the discussions about the selection of players for San Luis, let us do it all over again! To make it fair.
This time a World Championship also with those who he did not get/accept a ticket in the first place:
Ivanchuk, Kramnik, Bacrot, Aronian.
Are you satisfied now?"

Conspicuously absent: Arkadij Naiditsch. Much though I'm pleased to see Karjakin in, I would prefer that spot go to Nakamura, esp. in light of Hikaru's convincing victory over Sergey in a recent match. One does love to see Karjakin though, esp. after his recent amazing tour-de-force at the Olympiad. Anyway, Hikaru will have his day.

One thing only I know about Topalov's game against Anand. Whether or not Anand tries to win, Topalov will definitely try to win. Even though he could technically be satisfied with a draw, he's going to try to win, just as he tried to win against Leko in his last game. So he said, anyway.

Topalov's strategy is to try to win every game and that's clearly not going to change.

If Topalov succeeds with the black pieces in beating Anand today, it will be truly amazing and we will all be astonished.

Yet, it won't be totally unexpected. When you're hot, you're hot. Ask Khalil Greene after he recently hit a grand slam at RFK against the Nationals, putting his Padres back on par for a plus .500 score to end the season. Khalil had been the only one consistently hitting that day even though, in the 9th, he was facing an entirely different pitcher. Beating Anand today would be the chess equivalent of hitting a grand slam.

I liked two of Susan Polgar's comments in today's Chessbase story:

"He [Topalov] can outplay his opponent in even or slightly inferior positions." -- Indeed even though Topalov's game against Leko in the last round looked even or slightly inferior, one wonders whether Topalov would have won had he played on.

"I have not added up the total moves and hours played but I have to believe that he is way ahead of everyone else in both these categories." --- Indeed, it has not just been Topalov's great winning streak but also his stamina that has been awe-inspiring this tournament. People predicted that after his draw with Anand, he would be too tired to pull out a win the next day. Not only did he pull out a long excruciating win, he did it the next day and the next and the next and the next.

Now that's "playing chess" as Kasparov says!

Btw, I'm anxiously awaiting Sonas's new statistical analysis which in his previous post at Chessbase, he promised was forthcoming after the last round: "After the end of the eighth round (the next rest day) I will return with another statistical update, and we will see what the numbers look like at that point."


Karjakin is in because he won the B group in last year's event. If I recall correctly, Nakamura also played in it. If so, he had his chance.

O.K. despite having lost 5 out of 7 rounds - probably a record for any tournament- and being at the very bottm...I am going to (try anyway) to put a positive spin on your dismal performance, by highlighting someone else's problems..beside's what the hell? You are still the one-eyed sparrow among the blind...One can only admire the sense of solidarity among sparrows.

There are probably only about 20 men in the world who would have even a chance of scoring in 2 games out of 7 against this opposition. 2736 is a decent rating and the rating formula doesn't care about sex....

Now Tiviakov is back in Corus sporting his monster rating. How will he do?

Ah, that explains it. Thanks.


Petroff, you are mistaken. Hikaru didn't play in Corus in 2005.



Wow, that's brilliant that Kamsky's playing, that's going to be one hell of a test for him.

Wow, that's brilliant that Kamsky's playing, that's going to be one hell of a test for him.

If Karjakin were to break even, in a field that consists of 9 or 10 2700+ players, it would be quite an achievement. I wouldn't expect that he will finish last, and he may even scoop up a few points.

He has had fine results in Strong Swisses, but Corus is altogether another type of event.
A pity that Polgar won't be there.

Frankly, I'm more interested to see how Ivanchuk and Aronian will do, given the chance to compete against the likes of Topalov, Anand, Leko, and Kramnik.

Do they really have to have three Dutch players in the field? Personally I'd like to see Radjabov back in these things, now that he's broken 2700.

Nakamura played in the B group in 2004, got a good result, but not enough to get him into A in 2005.

I'm not sure why he did not play this year.

Nice line up for 2006 though - some good games on the cards.

Thank you, Maliq and Babson for the correction. I knew Naka had played there. 04 or 05, how time flies.

Karjakin did win the B group this year so at least I got something right. :)

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on October 7, 2005 9:03 PM.

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