Corus, Wijk aan Zee 2006

The regular Corus chess tournament starts today, Saturday 14th January 2006. BrainGames World Champion Vladimir Kramnik has pulled out owing to sickness, and he has been replaced by Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

The list of players are:

  • Veselin Topalov
  • Viswanathan Anand
  • Levon Aronian
  • Peter Leko
  • Vassily Ivanchuk
  • Boris Gelfand
  • Etienne Bacrot
  • Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
  • Michael Adams
  • Ivan Sokolov
  • Gata Kamsky
  • Sergey Tiviakov
  • Sergey Karjakin
  • Loek van Wely

Its great to see Gata Kamsky back in top-flight chess again. Hopefully he can repeat, or better, his performances in the early 1990’s. In the FIDE World Cup he was playing some offbeat opening lines – but his middle games are still full of the vigour and aggressiveness of the Kamsky that did so well in the World Championship cycles of 1993 and 1994. His match against Anand in the PCA Candidates final was superb – Anand eventually edging though to claim the right to play Garry Kasparov.

Its also fantastic to see Vassily Ivanchuk back in the thick of things. He’s had a remarkable year of tournaments in 2005, but he’s probably disappointed with his early exit in the FIDE World Cup – knocked out in the second round by the Bulgarian Grand Master Ivan Cheparinov.

Levon Aronian isn’t a player I’m familiar with, but a first place in the recent FIDE World Cup shows the quality, especially finishing ahead of battlers like Boris Gelfand, Bacrot and Tiviakov.

And no tournament is complete without the top echelon of super Grandmasters such as Topalov, Anand, Adams and Leko, all recently taking part in the FIDE World Championship. Corus sees the first appearance of Veselin Topalov as FIDE World Champion. Topalov is a fighter, and that is great chess to watch.

First round game to watch: Topalov – Kamsky.

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