2010 Corus Chess (Wijk ann Zee, Netherlands)

The annual Corus Chess tournament is currently taking place in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands. This years promises to be an exciting event with a variety of players from around the globe. This tournament will be bolstered by a number of young stars who have born in the past few years. Below are the participants of the Group “A”.

Title Player Country Flag
GM Magnus Carlsen NOR Norway"
GM Viswanathan Anand IND India"
GM Vladimir Kramnik RUS Russia"
GM Vassily Ivanchuk UKR Ukraine"
GM Peter Leko HUN Hungary"
GM Alexei Shirov SPA Spain"
GM Sergey Karjakin RUS Russia"
GM Leinier Dominguez CUB Cuba"
GM Hikaru Nakamura USA USA"
GM Nigel Short ENG England"
GM Fabiano Caruana ITA Italy"
GM Sergey Tiviakov NED Netherlands"
GM Jan Smeets NED Netherlands"
GM Loek van Wely NED Netherlands"

Average rating: 2719 – Category: 19

Main Site: https://www.coruschess.com/


  1. Good interview with Macauley with Hikaru.

    Nakamura is getting very good at interviewing. I’ve interview him a few times and he’s usually good, but he’s a lot more comfortable… even charming. It’s good to see!

  2. 2nd Half Preview

    The players no doubt enjoyed a well-deserved day of rest. There was good fighting chess in the first segment accented by Alexi Shirov’s “Fire on Board” act. His 4/4 is far behind Korchnoi’s 8/8 start, but he face Van Wely tomorrow and has a good chance to beat the slumping Dutchman.

    Nakamura has been the media darling thus far with his enterprising play. He seems to be in a groove, but will face the “heart of the lineup” with Carlsen, Ivanchuk, Shirov and Kramnik. The Nakamura-Carlsen match is sure to be a crowd favorite.

    There will certainly be some interesting matchups going forward, but the second-tier players are not going to give free games. Nigel Short said in the pre-tournament interview that he doesn’t expect to win, but just to bite a couple of people. Upsets coming! Stay tuned!

    In the other Corus section, the youth movement is strong with Ni and Giri in joint first in “B” and Robson and Li in joint first in “C”. The winners of these sections will graduate to the higher section.

  3. Round Five

    https://www.coruschess.com/report.php?year=2010&report=5 (Corus)

    Today I played H. Nakamura, USA (2708). He is rated as number eight in the tournament, but following his good result in the recent World Championship for National teams in Turkey and his shared second place here after four rounds, I did not expect an easy game. He avoided mainline theory in the opening. I did not have any real problems, but got a bit too optimistic early on and underestimated maybe his ensuing attacking chances. At a critical junction I could have given an exchange for two pawns and an unclear position, but chose instead to give a knight for three pawns. In a fairly equal ending I offered a draw. He somewhat surprisingly declined, but after I had made a few inaccurate moves, he was seriously playing for a win. In the end I found a way to defend and after swapping most pieces and all pawns the game was drawn after five and a half hours. A tough fight. I’ll have the black pieces two rounds in row, facing reigning World Champion V.Anand Thursday.” See Article

    Nakamura sent a comment on his Twitter page stating… “Very disappointing draw, but the games continue tomorrow!” Shirov continues his serial onslaught through the field as Loek Van Wely was the 5th consecutive victim. Fifteen-year old GMs lead the other sections as Anish Giri is on 4/5 in “B” and Robson is on 4.5/5 in “C”.

    GM Anish Giri

    GM Anish Giri, 15-year old of Nepalese ancestry,
    but of both Russian and Dutch nationality. Photo by Fred Lucas.

    | Corus A | Corus B | Corus C |

  4. Round Six

    https://www.coruschess.com/report.php?year=2010&report=6 (Corus)
    https://www.chessvibes.com/reports/corus-r6-live/ (Chessvibes)

    Video by Europe Echecs (GM Robert Fontaine)

    | Corus A | Corus B | Corus C |

    Standings “A”

    1st. A. Shirov 5½-½
    2nd-5th. H. Nakamura, M. Carlsen, V. Ivanchuk, V. Kramnik, 4-2
    6th. L. Dominguez, 3½-2½
    7th. S. Karjakin, P. Leko, V. Anand, 3-3
    10th. F. Caruana, S. Tiviakov, N. Short, 2-4
    13th. J. Smeets, L. van Wely, 1-5

    Standings “B”

    1st. A. Giri 5-1
    2nd-3rd. Ni, E. l’Ami, 4-2
    4th-7th. D. Howell, A. Naiditsch, W. So, P. Harikrishna, 3½-2½
    8th. P. Negi, 3-3
    9th-10th. E. Sutovsky, T. Nyback 2½-3½
    11th-12th. A. Muzychuk, L. Nisipeanu 2-4
    13th. V. Akobian, D. Reinderman 1-5

    Standings “C”

    1st. R. Robson, 5½-½
    2nd. L. Chao, 5-1
    3rd. A. Gupta, 4-2
    4th-6th. R. Swinkels, D. Vocaturo, R. van Kampen, 3½-2½
    7th-9th. S. Kuipers, Z. Peng, K. Lie, 3-3
    10th. N. Grandelius 2½-3½
    11th-12th. M. Muzychuk, B. Bok, 2-4
    13th. S. Plukkel 1-5
    14th. S. Swaminathan ½-5½

  5. Of course. People have been in a slumber so long on Naka. Look at this comment someone posted on this blog on my Nakamura-Carlsen story just a couple of weeks ago. Someone named “Johan” said,

    The London chess tourney proved how inferior Naka still is in classical chess.

    The guy doesn’t have a clue.

  6. Daaim, I just look at Naka vs Shirov game. Naka, gave Shirov first move a question mark… 1…c5. I agree, and then Shirov goes on to play a questionable line in the Sicilian. Shirov played super aggressive against Naka, not a good choice. Also, I don’t understand Shirov playing f5 and f4, he really wanted to win. Why not just march his king over to g8, (Kf8 – g8). Shirov set himself back in this game. He played Naka like he was playing a 2400 player.

  7. The Sveshnikov is an exciting opening. I had some very games from the White side; Black gives up his queenside pawns for play in the center and the kingside. I still don’t trust this opening for Black, I think it’s a surprise weapon. You won’t see this opening in a World Champion match. Not today.

  8. Glenn,
    I used to play the Sveshnikov and enjoyed playing it. The problem was that it was overanalyzed and you have to keep up with theory. I would remember lines all the way into the endgame. I stopped playing it after the Bxb5 sacrifice for white got popular. Black still gets tremendous play with open lines and two bishops.

  9. Daaim,
    If you like the Sveshnikov, you should still play it. Bxb5 is not recommended today. The problem, I think with the Sveshnikov is the line Nd5, follow by Bxf6 for White (Black captures back on f6 with his bishop). White enjoys a solid positional advantage with out entering into the wild complicated lines of an early Bxf6 (when Black captures with his g, pawn). I think below grandmaster level the Sveshnikov will bring Black victories. .

  10. Yea… I know it’s not recommended anymore. At that time, the 13.Bxb5!? axb5 14.Nxb5 Ra4!? line was the critical argument. Wild! The line you are talking about (1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bg5 a6 8. Na3 b5 9. Nd5) has some interesting sidelines. The Sveshnikov suits my fighting style, but then you have to get opponents to go into it. Many won’t let you pummel them and would play the sidelines lines 7. a4 and 7.Nd5.

    You also have to be prepared for anti-Sveshnikov lines. As white I play 3.Bb5 (Rossolimo Attack) and it’s easy to fall behind in that line and 3…Nd4!? just doesn’t cut it. Today, I play the solid Paulsen, but I may consider the Sveshnikov again. All the top players have played it… Anand, Kramnik, Topalov, Shirov, Leko, Carlsen, etc.

    GM Hikaru Nakamura vs. GM Alexei Shirov

    Video by Peter Doggers (Chessvibes.com)

  11. In my humble opinion, some websites focus on Carlsen,Anand and Kramnik so much. Nakamura was always going to blossom. He just needs to be in supert tournaments regularly.Tiviakov is not racking up great scores like Shirov. However Tiviakov is punching way above his rating. Giri and So need to be discussed more no matter what their results are.They have shown great confidence.
    Wesley So is a player who desreves a lot of sponsorship and support.
    Concentrating on the A group is relevant to journalists looking for a story on the “titans”. However club players and amateurs do not, in my experience , take a lot from those games of group A.
    The conversion technique is instructive but club players over here at least , do not play the Petroff. Its better to have a more balanced type of coverage. Additionally, the focus of some websites like chessbase.com look to rating performance and results.
    However other features like theoretical trends, blunders, reasons for blunders are not looked at deeply enough. Carlsen’s timetrouble against Kramnik shows that the strongest players can be uncomfortable in unfamiliar openings. However thats one example of breaking down blunders. Anand’s trend in drawing games could raise a lot of debate.Ivanchuk’s creativity in the Najdorf could get some treatment under the microscope. These are just a few of the issues I have but there are interesting moments for every taste Iam sure.

  12. Oops Daaim! I did not rave about Robson.Great conversion technique. Precocious talent. Its more interesting to watch him than say Leko.

  13. Round Ten

    Kramnik is sole leader… Anand gets first win… Carlsen closes in.
    Giri still holding lead… Li Chao widens lead with win over a faltering Robson.

    GM Vladimir Kramnik

    Vladimir Kramnik takes sole lead for the first time after rallying for 4/5 points in second half. He now leads the field with 7/10. Photo by Steven Giddings.

    Apparently the long tournament is beginning to wear on some of the early leaders of the tournament. Shirov lost his share of 1st place after dropping the full point to Anand. It was Anand first win. On the other hand, Shirov has slumped since starting the tournament 5/5. He is now on 6½/10. Meanwhile Kramnik has surged into the lead after having vanquished two competitors in Nakamura and Carlsen. He drew his last game against Ivanchuk in an exciting encounter where he sacrificed a piece for an attack.

    Despite losing A. Muzychuk, Giri still holds the slimmiest of leads after ten rounds. He is followed by a tripartite of players including a surging Wesley So. Corus “C” has been shaken. Robson held the lead for the first eight rounds, but has dropped 3/4 and falled to 2nd-5th place. One loss featured a missed mate in one! It’s been a long trip for the young American star who a couple of weeks ago competed on the silver-medal winning U.S. team in Turkey. Li Chao solidified first place last round with a convincing win over former leader Robson. This round, he won brilliantly after sacrificing his queen for a rook and bishop. He also had two strong passed pawns.

    https://www.coruschess.com/report.php?year=2010&report=10 (Corus)
    https://www.chessvibes.com/reports/corus-r10-live/ (Chessvibes)
    https://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=6094 (ChessBase)

    Video by Europe Echecs (GM Robert Fontaine)

    | Corus A | Corus B | Corus C |

    Standings “A”

    1st. V. Kramnik, 7-3
    2nd-3rd. A. Shirov, M. Carlsen, 6½-3½
    4th-8th. V. Anand, H. Nakamura, L. Dominguez, V. Ivanchuk, S. Karjakin, 5½-4½
    9th. P. Leko, 5-5
    10th-11th. F. Caruana, S. Tiviakov, 4-6
    12th-13th. N. Short, L. van Wely, 3½-6½
    14th. J. Smeets, 2½-7½

    Standings “B”

    1st. A. Giri 7-3
    2nd-4th. Ni, E. L’Ami, W. So, 6½-3½
    5th. A. Naiditsch, 6-4
    6th. P. Negi, 5½-4½
    7th-8th. D. Howell, P. Harikrishna, 5-5
    9th-10th. E. Sutovsky, A. Muzychuk, 4½-5½
    11th-12th. L. Nisipeanu 4-6
    12th. D. Reinderman, 3½-6½
    13th. T. Nyback, 3-7
    14th. V. Akobian, 2½-7½

    Standings “C”

    1st. L. Chao, 7½-2½
    2nd-5th. D. Vocaturo, R. van Kampen, R. Robson, R. Swinkels, 6-4
    6th-7th. N. Grandelius, A. Gupta, 5½-4½
    8th-9th. Z. Peng, K. Lie, 5-5
    10th-11th. B. Bok, S. Kuipers, 4½-5½
    12th. M. Muzychuk, 4-6
    13th. S. Swaminathan 3-7
    14th. S. Plukkel 1½-8½

  14. Anand seems to have a habit of performing poorly before a world championship match. Before Kmeeting Kramnik he had the Bilbao disaster, here the many draws. I wouldn’t read too mch into this. Obviously he can’t reveal too much openings wise.

  15. The difference between Kramnik and the rest is his consistency and his conversion technique. One turning point was the win against Smeets.He showed where the difference in strength lay:not in the opening but in realisation technique-witness the activity of his rooks.

    Against Carlsen, he was truly inspired and played as actively as possible. In the tournament there were no long reports of Kramnik being in a terrible position out of the opening.His Petroff is a great argument against 1.e4

  16. Round Eleven

    Carlsen beat Karjakin to climb into a tie for first with Kramnik!

    With two rounds remaining, Corus will come to an exciting conclusion. What is now clear is that two players will be playing for the title, Vladimir Kramnik and Magnus Carlsen. Both have played steadily throughout with only one loss between them… Carlsen’s loss to Kramnik. Shirov remains within striking distance by drawing with Kramnik. Shirov had better chances, but was unable to break through the tenacious defense.

    After Giri’s 35…Qg3, So blunders with 36.Ne2?? and Giri rattles off 36…Rf1+ mating after 37.Kxf1 Qf2#. (See video)

    In Group “B” Wesley So was the unluckiest player of the round missing a mate in two against leader Anish Giri. The Dutch champion was completely lost, but had a few tactics left.

    Despite an advantage on the clock, the Filipino blundered and missed a chance to take the lead in the tournament. (see right) So looked shellshocked and perhaps ruined his chances to win the tournament.

    Both L’Ami and Ni Hua are joint second and still have a theoretical chance of catching Giri. While much is made of Carlsen’s talent, Giri has shown that he is a force to be reckoned with in the future.

    In Group “C”, Li Chao has all but wrapped up his title and needs only one point from his last two opponents to clinch clear first… a draw will guarantee a tie for first. The top-seed held his board and will graduate to Corus “B” next year. Three players are joint second: Vocaturo, Van Kampen and Robson each with 7/11. Robson held the lead for most of the tournament before suffering a bad stretch. ChessBase ran an interesting article on players in this group. (link)

    https://www.coruschess.com/report.php?year=2010&report=11 (Corus)
    https://www.chessvibes.com/reports/r11-corus-live/ (Chessvibes)
    https://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=6100 (ChessBase)

    Video by Europe Echecs (GM Robert Fontaine)

    | Corus A | Corus B | Corus C |

  17. Interesting finale in the 2010 Corus tournament. Anand beat Kramnik convincingly while Carlsen and Leko drew. That gives the Norwegian 8/12. Both Kramnik and Shirov have 7.5/12. Anand has 7/12. Here is Anand’s thrilling victory over Kramnik. Impressive!

  18. Round Twelve

    Corus “A” will go down to the wire with Carlsen hoping that Karjakin will be too solid for Kramnik’s Catalan. Carlsen gets Caruana and perhaps this game will be quite exciting since Carlsen can’t afford a quick draw. Kramnik beat Carlse and would have favorable tiebreaks in the event of a tie.

    Anand crushed Kramnik and changed the nature of the standings. Shirov will need a bit of help in order to win. Both Carlsen and Kramnik will have to lose for him to have a chance. The chances of both of these events happening is highly improbable.

    Anish Giri will take a one point lead into the last round and will most likely take the “Grandmaster Draw” to clinch the crown and advance to Corus “A”. Li Chao does not have to wait until tomorrow to celebrate his victory. He took a nine-move draw and waited on his rivals’ results.

    Fortunately none of them were able to get the full point and thus eliminated. Many websites erroneously reported that Li’s quick draw clinched the title, but of course had his rivals won, then there was still a mathematical chance the tournament could go to tiebreak system. Nevertheless, the Chinese GM will move to Corus “B” next years.

    https://www.coruschess.com/report.php?year=2010&report=12 (Corus)
    https://www.chessvibes.com/reports/r12-corus-live/ (Chessvibes)
    https://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=6102 (ChessBase)

    Video by Europe Echecs (GM Robert Fontaine)

    | Corus A | Corus B | Corus C |

  19. Giri has already clinched the win in “B” with a quick draw with Negi. Li Chao made a statement by winning his last game in convincing manner crushing Peng. Li had already clinched the win in “C” group. Caruana appeared to be winning against Carlsen, but couldn’t convert. Carlsen wins Corus!

    A couple of games left. Nakamura is pressing against Tiviakov. Robson trying to hold a draw against Gupta.

    (Update: Nakamura wins his last game and finishes with +2. Good showing for Nakamura! Robson loses and also ends on +2. Robson lead through most of the first half, but probably got tired. Asians were strong in “B” and “C” group.)


    Video by Vijay Kumar for Europe-Echecs.com.

    https://www.coruschess.com/report.php?year=2010&report=13 (Corus)
    https://www.chessvibes.com/reports/r13-corus-live/#more-21687 (Chessvibes)
    https://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=6103 (ChessBase)

    | Corus A | Corus B | Corus C |

    Final Standings “A”

    1st. M. Carlsen, 8½-4½
    2nd-3rd. V. Kramnik, A. Shirov, 8-5
    4th-5th. V. Anand, H. Nakamura, 7½-5½
    6th-7th. V. Ivanchuk, S. Karjakin, 7-6
    8th-9th. P. Leko, Dominguez, 6½-6½
    10th-11th. F. Caruana, 5½-7½
    12th-13th. N. Short, L. van Wely, 5-8
    14th. S. Tiviakov, J. Smeets, 4½-8½

    Final Standings “B”

    1st. A. Giri 9-4
    2nd. A. Naiditsch, 8½-4½
    3rd. Ni, 8-5
    4th-5th. E. L’Ami, W. So, 7½-5½
    6th-7th. P. Harikrishna, P. Negi, 6½-6½
    8th-9th. D. Howell, E. Sutovsky, 6-7
    10th-11th. A. Muzychuk, L. Nisipeanu, 5½-7½
    12th-13th. D. Reinderman, T. Nyback, 5-8
    14th. V. Akobian, 4½-8½

    Final Standings “C”

    1st. L. Chao, 10-3
    2nd. A. Gupta, 8½-4½
    3rd-4th. R. van Kampen, D. Vocaturo, 8-5
    5th-6th. R. Robson, R. Swinkels, 7½-5½
    7th. B. Bok, 7-6
    8th-10th. N. Grandelius, S. Kuipers, M. Muzychuk, 6-7
    11th. K. Lie, 5½-7½
    12th. Z. Peng, 5-8
    13th-14th. S. Plukkel, S. Swaminathan, 3-10

  21. Check the Short-Smeets game… hilarious! Looks like something from a scholastic tournament or in bughouse. Caruana had a chance to send Carlsen into 2nd place. During the game I thought eliminating the a-pawn with Nc1 was the best path. Shirov missed his chance to win the tournament against Dominguez. He agreed to a draw, but the final position is a win after 31.b4! Qc7 32.Qa8+ Bf8 33.Rf1+-. Chess is hard! Love Nakamura’s technique against Tiviakov. “H-Bomb” had +2 with Anand. Good job! I’m writing an essay, “Is Nakamura the Real Deal?” This tournament may answer part of that question. 🙂

  22. Nakamura is clearly World Top 5 material. He is only going to get better. But Carlsen is World championship material. He deservedly won Wijk.

    Giri looks like the next guy to barnstorm into the Super GM club…

  23. Nakamura is definitely going to get better. However, if you read European chess blogs, many say he is not even in the elite class yet. Last year they were saying he’d not make 2700, then they said he wouldn’t make top 20, then top 15. Now they are saying he won’t make top 10. People were saying he would make a minus score at Corus and that he is still primarily a blitz player. It is nonsensical to believe that someone has to be top 5 before being viewed as an elite player. No other player in history has had that type of standard.

    GM Magnus Carlsen

    GM Magnus Carlsen, 2010 Corus Champion
    Photo by Steve Giddins.

    Carlsen is a World Championship contender, but I don’t believe he will necessarily be the next contender after the Anand-Topalov match. I’m not sure how much he can improve. He was in trouble a number of times in this tournament (i.e., Nakamura, Kramnik) and maybe a little worse against Shirov. In the last game with Caruana he was definitely worse. Nevertheless, he is a deserving champion in an evenly-matched field.

    I’m not sure if they will continue the practice of holding three spots for Dutch players. They come in near last place every year.

  24. Oh thanks for the short-smeet reference they are quite humorous actually, this video with vishy doesnt really clarify what Sophia’s rule is? Does anyone know?

  25. Well, Carlsen is young and is still improving…that’s what makes it so scary! You are the World No.1 and still improving! I also don’t think he will become World Champion in the next cycle. Kramnik is not yet done and Topalov and Anand are nowhere near retiring. These three guys are still better than Carlsen in my opinion. But the gap is narrowing very fast.

    Nakamura was always underestimated. I think the ‘europeans’ were looking at Nakamura in a theoretical manner. His games have many errors. But they fail to see that over the board Nakamura can pose very difficult problems for his opponents. He may make a dubious move but it comes about in a situation that is for the human very difficult to evaluate. It’s like what Tal used to do. Plus another factor they completely overlook is Nakamura’s intense desire to win. Ivanchuk may play better chess then Kramnik or Anand but he lacks this one quality that Nakamura has. Otherwise Ivanchuk should have been world champ by now.

  26. Daaim,
    Do you understand the requirements for FM title? I search of FIDE website but its unclear to me. They say you need a published rating of 2300, what is a published rating? Is it a performance rating? Is it a rating published on their website? I’ve performed over 2300 in a number of tournaments, so can I applied for a FM title? I know this is off your subject here, but just wanted some help on this issue.

  27. Glenn,

    I think you have to reach 2300 ELO at any time. Ratings are now done per game so it’s much easier to track. I believe that is the only requirement. Of course you can obtain it by playing in a zonal or subzonal tournament like the one held in Brazil some time ago.

  28. Mehul,

    I agree on all points. I also believe that another young star may also beat Carlsen to the title. It’s very different playing a match against someone. Carlsen doesn’t seem to be good psychologically at matches. In the Nakamura blitz match, he crumbled badly while under pressure.

  29. Daaim,
    I got this information off FIDE website (confusing web site) in the introduction section. “A title is officially valid from the date all the requirements are met. In order for a title to be confirmed where it is based on an application, it must be published on the FIDE website and in other relevant FIDE documents for at least 60 days.” I guess that helps clear up the situation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button