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Anand has task cut out at Corus tournament
January 11, 2003 20:56 IST
Former World champion Vishwanathan Anand faces a tough field, with seven of the world's top ten vying for honours in the 65th edition of the Corus Chess tournament which gets under way in Wijk aan Zee (The Netherlands) on Saturday.
The tournament, carrying a total prize pool of 28500 Euros (appr Rs 14,25,000) will be played between 14 leading players of the World. It will be played on an all-play-all basis and there will 13 rounds in all to be played over the next 16 days.
Despite the absence of the world's highest rated GM, Garry Kasparov of Russia, who is giving the tournament a miss for the second year running, the category is quite high at '19' as per FIDE's chart and the average rating of the event is 2701 Elo points.
The main hurdle for Anand will be GM Vladimir Kramnik of Russia and youngest ever World champion Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine.
Other players who can give these three a run for their money are GMs Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria, GM Alexei Shirov of Spain and GM Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine.
Seeded second behind Kramnik, Anand will start his campaign with white pieces against highly talented GM Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan. His clash with Ponomariov is scheduled for round 7 when he will play white while against Kramnik, the Indian ace will have black in round 8.
Anand comes to the Netherlands with some excellent performances in the past year, having won the World Cup at Hyderabad, the Corsica Masters at Bastia, France, Eurotel trophy at Prague, the Chess classics at Mainz in Germany and leading the World team to a historic triumph over Russia in Match of the New Century at Moscow, Russia.
However, in the Linares Super GMs tournament and in the Advance Chess match against Kramnik, his form betrayed him.
Linares was in fact the only tournament with classical time control of seven hours that Anand played in besides beating former World champion Anatoly Karpov of Russia in the final of Eurotel trophy that was played under rapid chess rules till the finals.
Corus being a Classical time control event, Anand will definitely like to make amends for his performance in the previous Linares event. Especially because his next event is again at Linares, where Garry Kasparov will start his campaign this year.
Alongside the main attraction, a Grandmaster group 'B' tournament will be played on Tuesday, with India's youngest Grandmaster Koneru Humpy making her maiden appearance.
The main contenders for the title in the 'B' tournament are GM Zhang Zhong of China and former World Junior champion GM Peter Acs of Hungary.
Round 1 pairings (main event): Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukr) v/s Evgeny Bareev (Rus); Vladimir Kramnik (Rus) v/s Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr); Mikhail Krasenkow (Pol) v/s Anatoly Karpov (Rus); Alexei Shirov (Esp) v/s Jan Timman (Ned); Alexander Grischuk (Rus) v/s Loek van Wely (Ned); Judit Polgar v/s Veselin Topalov (Bul); Vishwanthan Anand v/s Teimour Radjabov (Aze).
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