Wijk aan Zee begins!

The long-awaited super GM tournament in Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands begins today. Steel-makers Corus are again the sponsors and have managed to attract many big household names including Anand, Carlsen and Kramnik.

The event starts on the 16th of January (the pairings were on the 15th) and continues until the 31st (there will be three rest days on the 20th, 25th and 28th) and is the real highlight of January's world chess calendar.

There are actually not one, but three(!) strong 14-player round robins.

The rounds start at 13h30 (local time) except the last one which begins an hour earlier at 12h30.

The time rate is quite traditional being 40 moves in two hours, then 20 moves in one hour, followed by 15 minutes for the rest of the game, with a 30 second increment per move.

Last year's winner was Karjakin and he will be back again, but is only the sixth highest rated.

Here is the complete list of the A-Group.

1Magnus Carlsen NOR 2801
2Viswanathan Anand IND 2788
3Vladimir Kramnik RUS 2772
4Peter Leko HUN 2752
5Vassily Ivanchuk UKR 2739
6Sergey Karjakin RUS 2723
7=Alexei Shirov ESP 2719
7=Leinier Dominguez CUB 2719
9Hikaru Nakamura USA 2715
10Nigel Short ENG 2707
11Sergey Tiviakov NED 2664
12Fabiano Caruana ITA 2662
13Loek van Wely NED 2652
14Jan Smeets NED 2650

First round pairings of the A-Group:

Sergey Karjakin RUS (2723) - Viswanathan Anand IND (2788)

Leinier Dominguez CUB (2719) - Vladimir Kramnik RUS (2772)

Peter Leko HUN (2752) - Alexei Shirov ESP (2719)

Fabiano Caruana ITA (2662) - Vassily Ivanchuk UKR (2739)

Sergey Tiviakov NED (2664) - Magnus Carlsen NOR (2801)

Jan Smeets NED (2650) - Hikaru Nakamura USA (2715)

Loek van Wely NED (2652) - Nigel Short ENG (2707)

The other tournaments are sufficiently strong to merit attention. Here are the pairings of the b-group:

Ni Hua CHN (2665) - Erwin l'Ami NED (2606)

Emil Sutovsky ISR (2666) - Dimitri Reinderman NED (2575)

Tomi Nyback FIN (2628) - Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu ROM (2677)

Anish Giri NED (2585) - P Harikrishna IND (2672)

David Howell ENG (2597) - Parimarjan Negi IND (2620)

Anna Muzychuk SLO (2532) - Varuzhan Akobian USA (2624)

Arkadij Naiditsch GER (2689) - Wesley So PHI (2640)

Even the C-group should be interesting:

Ray Robson USA (2564) - S Swaminathan IND (2303)

Robin Swinkels NED (2500) - Abhijeet Gupta IND (2578)

Marya Muzychuk UKR (2447) - Nils Grandelius SWE (2540)

Stefan Kuipers NED (2316) - Kjetil Lie NOR (2547)

Zhaoqin Peng NED (2408) - Robin v Kampen NED (2470)

Benjamin Bok NED (2337) - Li Chao-b CHN (2596)

Daniele Vocaturo ITA (2500) - Sjoerd Plukkel NED (2259)

For further information official site

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