Wijk aan Zee is a small coastal town of the North Sea, Beverwijk in Netherlands. Town is famous for its picturesque beaches and a popular tourist desination in northern europe. The prestigious Tata Steel Chess tournament that was formerly called Corus chess tournament and before that Hoogovens tournament takes place there every year, most probably in the month of January.
In the 73rd edition of the Wijk aan Zee Tata Steel Chess tournament, after round 8 world champion Vishwanathan Anand of India and American Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura are joint leaders with five and a half points each, with still 5 rounds to go. Last year in January 2010, both Anand and Nakamura finished their campaign with seven and half point each from thirteen rounds and were jointly at fourth place while World no.1 Magnus Carlsen or Norway won the tournament with eight and half points as a sole leader.
Both Vladimir Kramanik of Russia and Spaniard Alexi Shirov drew in the last round that secured the first place for Carlsen as sole leader in the 72nd edition of the Wijk aan Zee chess. This year both Anand and Nakamura are clear favorites after 8 rounds but Kramanic, Aronian and Carlsen is not much behind them with only half a point away from leaders at 5 point each.
Wijk ann Zee is a 13 round chess tournament with 14 grandmasters in group A, B and C. In group A the strongest masters from the world over participate, who sometimes are referred unofficially as super grandmasters. While group B and group C is reserved for other less stronger Grand master groups. Wijk ann Zee is sometimes refereed by chess journalists as mecca of chess considering the world’s strongest chess tournament being played here every year.
Video presentation round 8:
Superb win by Carlsen against the sole leader in the tournament Nakamura in Najdorf variation of the Sicilian defense put Carlsen back into the race for the first spot after disasterous start in the tournament losing a game to young Dutch talent Anish Giri. 16 year old Anish Giri has a Nepalese father and Russian mother and resides in Neatherlands for last 3 years. This win of Carlsen also proved good for Anand as he drew his game against Aronian to gain half a point and going back to top spot again in the tournament sharing it with Nakamura.
Dutch Grandmaster and National Champion Smeets lost his fourth game in row, while another Dutchman Anish scored full point against young chinese grandmaster Wang Hao. Alexi Shirov who is having a bad tournament also registered his first win in the tournament playing open Sicilian against Grischuk to move away from the bottom of the table making space for Grischuk there. All other encounters in the group A were draws.
Armenian played strong Marshall gambit against Anand who remained a pawn up the whole game but never found any advantage out of the opening and through the middle game. Aronian has never lost a single game in this gambit as it is his specialty. After the match Anand told in an interview that his Ke1 was slightly better than Ke2 but it would not have made much difference towards the outcome of the game.
Two other Indian Masters are participating at Tata Steel Chess in group B and group C. Strong grandmaster Surya Sekhar Ganguly is in group B where he is not doing very well this year but the beauty with the brains Women Grand master and International Master Tania Sachdev of India is doing fairly well in the group C. Sachdev won a game in round 8 against de jong in English opening and currently is at the 4th place in group C. She is the lowest rated player in the tournament.
It was the second rest day yesterday and the round 9 will begin from today.
Video presentation rest day 2:
Today’s Schedule of the play:
Round 9 – Tuesday, 25th January 2010
H. Nakamura – V. Anand
M. Vachier-Lagrave – M. Carlsen
I. Nepomniachtchi – J. Smeets
V. Kramnik – E. l’Ami
W. Hao – R. Ponomariov
A. Grischuk – A. Giri
L. Aronian – A. Shirov
Standing in Group A after round 8:
Watch the games in PGN viewer from round 8:
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