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Corus 2009 Field Complete

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It's a long way off yet (Jan 16 - Feb 1), but the good folks at Corus just announced the completion of the 2009 Group A field. Many recent winners, but lacking the marquee names Anand, Kramnik, and Topalov.

Alexander Morozevich (RUS, #2)  Elo: 2787 DOB: 1977
Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR, #3)      Elo: 2786 DOB: 1969
Magnus Carlsen (NOR, #4)        Elo: 2786 DOB: 1990
Levon Aronian (ARM, #7)         Elo: 2757 DOB: 1982
Teimour Radjabov (AZE, #8)      Elo: 2751 DOB: 1987
Wang Yue (CHN, #11)             Elo: 2736 DOB: 1987
Michael Adams (ENG, #12)        Elo: 2734 DOB: 1971
Sergei Movsesian (SVK, #13)     Elo: 2732 DOB: 1978
Sergei Karjakin (UKR, #15)      Elo: 2730 DOB: 1990
Gata Kamsky (USA, #16)          Elo: 2729 DOB: 1974
Leinier Dominguez (CUB, #21)    Elo: 2719 DOB: 1983
Loek van Wely (NLD)             Elo: 2618 DOB: 1972
Daniel Stellwagen (NLD)         Elo: 2605 DOB: 1987
Jan Smeets (NLD)                Elo: 2604 DOB: 1985

I'm glad to see the hungry young Dutchies in there at last. They aren't getting any younger and weren't exactly breaking toward 2700 of late. A decent result here might give them a kick-start. Of course it's more likely they will struggle to stay out of the cellar, but having a pack of local players at the bottom of the Wijk aan Zee table won't be new.

Aronian has tied for first two years in a row. Last year he was matched by Carlsen at +3, 8/13, a modest score for such a large field that illustrated the tighness of the field overall. Missing Topalov, Kramnik, and Anand is a big deal for fans and for the Elo average, but in the last two editions only Topalov had a share of first, in 2007. Anand was +2 in both events while Kramnik finished even and Topalov on -1 last year. More amazing is that Carlsen finished equal last in 2007. Seems like an eternity ago. This year he comes in as =3-4 in the world.

Wang Yue will get a lot of scrutiny. He's been putting up very solid numbers in elite events, going undefeated through two FIDE Grand Prix tournaments. He juiced his rating up to the #11 spot with a sky-high score at the NH youth vs veterans event in August. Elder abuse won't be on the menu in Wijk aan Zee, but nobody doubts Wang Yue is the real deal. Karjakin is due for a bump, though it's unfair to expect him to be as meteoric as Carlsen just because they are the same age. The top ten isn't going anywhere. Dominguez has had a very good year, including finishing ahead of Carlsen in Biel. Still, he's only won two games against 2700+ competition in the last two years.

Good news is that they are finally going to use my favorite time control at Corus, 40/2, 20/1, g/15'+30". Always nice to see an increment in the final control (and not in the other controls). Let's hope Linares follows suit.


Not sure why Van Wely deserves to be included given his poor form of late. He should have been demoted to the B Group.

A +13 score would catapult Kamsky to #1 on the liverating list.

Let's see: Maybe Kamsky will pull an Anand and get -4 in this tournament, only to destroy Topalov in their match afterwards! I would love it! :-)

Wonder why Anand and Kramnik are skipping it. It has always been Vishy's favourite hunting ground. I guess he wants to cut down on events now.

van wely is perhaps the most privileged player in modern chess. regular invites to wijk ann zee and monnaco, and has played dortmund on at least one occasion if not more. i don't begrudge people their success, he cant be faulted for taking advantage of the opportunities presented to him, but there has to be a host of player as strong or stronger who haven't had anywhere close to the career van wely has.

Real pity that even after Tata took over Corus nothing has been done to help Indian players like Harikrishna, Sasikiran, Negi, etc. At least one of the Dutch players could have been dropped to accommodate any of these guys.

Well, it should be remembered that even if he's 2600 now, Van Wely was 2700 back when that meant something, and didn't always crash and burn even against the world's elite. It does appear he's done not doing so. Still, I would rather see Shirov, Leko, and Topalov than any of the tail enders (or any Indian player other than Anand).

Anand has to disappear. It's the World Champion Protection Program. He's given a new identity and told to avoid chess or else he might be assassinated.

Or something.

Van Wely, Stellwagen, and Smeets but no Tiviakov? He's had, you know, ACTUAL GOOD RESULTS recently.

I dare anyone going to the tournament to walk up to Movsesian and ask where he's a tourist from.

Van Wely was never 2700 when it meant something. He hit 2700 (just once, IIRC) long after no-namers were making it.

He's the most privileged player in memory, probably because Western Europe produces so few top players. Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Belguim, Switzerland, Austria, and France (before recent rise of Bacrot and Vachier-Lagrave were zeros in the production of top players.)

Maybe we can quantify overprivilege somehow, such as by percentage score versus top ten. (Worse percentage = most privileged super-tournament invitee.)

#10 on the rating list (October 2001) doesn't mean anything? And he had already reached 2700 in January.

And btw, I also thinks he gets way too many invitations, but we should not exaggerate.

Van Wely's a streaky player. The 2700 was obviously his extreme upper bound, that he hit by luck, the same way an NBA player who field-goals 70% over five games isn't a 70% shooter.

I wonder if the absence of Topalov, Kramnik, Anand and Leko means they will play in Linares. I remember they were talking last year how it was going to be the last year where the first half of Linares is held in Morelia. I gess Kramnik didn't want to play in Morelia, but if it is back to being Linares-only this year, it might mean Kramnik has chosen to play in Linares rather than Wijk, and maybe so did the other top players.

Yes, Kramnik has confirmed he'll play in Linares, and you're right, it most probably has to do with them switching back to just one continent.

And I like that he is doing that. I think Linares is generally the more prestigious tournament, and while it was a long time since he did very well in Wijk aan Zee, he actually won Linares the last three times he participated (2000, 2003, 2004) -- two shared wins, although in 2003 Lékó technically got the trophy on better tiebreaks, and one outright.

My understanding is that Linares is thought of as the more serious professionals' tournament, where everybody is grim and focused, and that Corus is sort of a year-opening celebration where everyone enjoys themselves.

Obviously this is an oversimplification (and probably overly drawn from Anand interviews) but it makes a certain amount of sense.

It's odd though, Kramnik and Anand used to habitually play both tournaments, and they have two months off in between the match and Corus 2009.

Well, Kramnik is also playing in the Olympiad.

Even though many would probably think Moro, Carlsen, and Ivanchuck favorites; I have to give the nod to Aronian.

Where's the Kramnik confirmation on Linares 2009? Or did he just say that in one of the press conferences? I didn't think they'd confirmed the field yet. Or may just him and a few others.

Anand has commented in an interview to Sportstar that he will play Linares in 2009.

Yay Dominguez! That is one talented cuban. If Van Wely is there then Dominguez definitely gets to be there. Why is Van Wely there? Methinks he's buddies with the dutch billionare chess supporter that funds the melody amber tournaments...but hey I don't know nothing just a rumormonger

Germany did have Robert Hübner, who was once #3 in the world.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on November 6, 2008 2:32 PM.

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