Friday, January 12, 2007

Corus 2007

By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

THE Corus tournament is one of the oldest in the chess calendar and takes place every January in the town of Wijk Aan Zee in the Netherlands.

Formerly known as Hoogovens tournament, it started in 1938 and changed its name in 1999 after the Dutch steel and aluminium producer Koninklijke Hoogovens merged with British Steel to form the Corus Group in 0ctober 1999. It is now one of the biggest producers of steel in the World.

The tournament will start Jan. 13-28. There are three main sections and all are invitational and composed of 14 players each. The organizers have done a terrific job in inviting the players in group A. They are (country, rating and world ranking as of October 2006) : Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria, 2813, 1)Viswanathan Anand (India, 2779, 2) Vladimir Kramnik (Russia, 2750, 4) Peter Svidler (Russia, 2750, 5) Levon Aronian (Armenia, 2741, 6) Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan, 2729 11 7) David Navara (Czech Republic, 2725, 13) Alexey Shirov (Spain, 2720, 14) Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukraine, 2703, 20 ) Magnus Carlsen (Norway, 2698, 21) Serg Tiviakov (The Netherlands, 2680, 27) Loek van Wely (The Netherlands, 2676, 29) Sergey Karjakin (Ukraine, 2672, 35) and Alexander Motylev (Russia, 2662, 44).

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It’s been a while since we have seen Kramnik, Topalov and Anand competing head to head in the same event. Add to it the three brightest young talents Radjabov, Carlsen and Karjakin and you have the potential for a perfect and exceptional tournament.

World champion Kramnik is very good in one-on-one matches, as shown in his previous wins against Topalov, Kasparov and Leko but is inferior to Anand and Topalov in round robin matches because of his tendency to go for draws.

The problem with Topalov has been losing the unification match against Kramnik. That was a blow to his pride as he honestly believes that he is the better player and accused Kramnik of cheating in the match. Now, he is eager to prove that he is the best tournament player in the world.

Viswanathan Anand has won five titles of the Hoogovens/Corus chess tournament in its long history, while Max Euwe, Lajos Portisch and Viktor Korchnoi won Corus four times each

The problem with Anand is that he has not played a tournament under classical control for over half a year so this lack of practice could affect his play. In rapid control, he is the undisputed master.

Cepca news. The Cebu Executives and Professionals Association (Cepca) Inc. held its first tournament of the year featuring kiddies (13 below) and juniors (14-16) last Sunday, Jan. 7 at the Bibo chess club.

In the kiddies section the winner was Kyle Sevillano, 2nd place Marq Balbona, 3rd Felix Shaun Balbona, 4th John Francis Balbona and 5th placer was Argie Lumapac.

The Juniors section winner was Christian Lumapac, 2nd Yves Fiel and 3rd Jessa Balbona.

Membership in Cepca is now open to anybody either as regular or associate member. Tournaments now have four sections namely class A, B and C, Juniors and Kiddies. Visit us at Handuraw Café in Mabolo as we play every Tuesdays in the evening.

Welcome Asean delegates and foreign media. An Asean-accredited location, Kahayag Café (located along MJ Cuenco, Cebu City) offers an alternative form of soulful entertaintment with delectable comfort-Cebuano cuisine in a casual dining and homey-artsy atmosphere. Handuraw Café beside it gives you the best thin crust pizzas in town amid live performances of Cebuano local music bands (café only branch at 460 Gorordo Ave. Lahug).

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