Tuesday, January 11, 2011

3 days till Wijk!!

Yeah!!! Starting to count down, are you?

73rd Tata Steel Wijk aan Zee 2011 (Wijk aan Zee NED) Fri 14th Jan 2011 - Sun 30th Jan 2011


Participants of grandmaster group A

GMMagnus CarlsenNOR28141Photo
GMViswanathan AnandIND28102Photo
GMLevon AronianARM28053Photo
GMVladimir KramnikRUS27844Photo
GMAlexander GrischukRUS27737Photo
GMHikaru NakamuraUSA275110Photo
GMRuslan PonomariovUKR274411Photo
GMIan NepomniachtchiRUS273315Photo
GMWang HaoCHN273117Photo
GMAlexei ShirovSPA272224Photo
GMMaxime Vachier-LagraveFRA271531Photo
GMAnish GiriNED268652Photo
GMJan SmeetsNED266282Photo
GMErwin l'AmiNED2624138Photo

Average rating: 2740
Category: 20
FIDE-ratings of January 2011

I don't see anybody out of the top 4 winning here, unless possibly Nepomniachtchi since he has probably the biggest upside of anybody outside of that group. Also difficult not to see Smeets or l'Ami at the bottom but that's no knock on their abilities in such a super strong tournament!


Participants of grandmaster group B

GMRadek WojtaszekPOL272620Photo
GMDavid NavaraCZE270834Photo
GMLaurant FressinetFRA270735Photo
GMZahar EfimenkoUKR270138Photo
GMWesley SoPHL267364Photo
GMGabriel SargissianARM266775Photo
GMLe Quang LiemVNM266478Photo
GMLuke McShaneENG266478Photo
GMSurya GangulyIND265198Photo
GMLi ChaoCHN2649100Photo
GMJon Ludvig HammerNOR2647103Photo
GMVlad TkachievFRA2636120Photo
GMFriso NijboerNLD2584269Photo
GMWouter SpoelmanNLD2547436Photo

Average rating: 2659
Category: 17
FIDE-ratings of January 2011

I will be watching closely here current teammate Ludvig Hammer and also former longtime teammate Luke McShane. I think this group is almost anybodies to win but the Dutch will struggle here like in the A group.


Participants of grandmaster group C

GMMurtas KazhgaleyevKAZ2637Photo
GMIvan IvanisevicSRB2630Photo
GMMark BluvshteinCAN2590Photo
GMDaniele VocaturoITA2570Photo
GMDariusz SwierczPOL2540Photo
IMIlya NyzhnykUKR2530Photo
GMKatherina LahnoUKR2518Photo
IMRoeland PruijssersNED2484Photo
IMBenjamin BokNLD2453Photo
IMRobin van KampenNLD2443Photo
GMSebastian SiebrechtGER2439Photo
IMMark van der WerfNLD2439Photo
IMJan Willem de JongNLD2437Photo
IMTania SachdevIND2382Photo

Average rating: 2507
Category: 11
FIDE-ratings of January 2011

C-group is interesting although way less strong than the B-group. Nyzhnyk is now I think the youngest current GM but somehow this group doesn't excite me very much.


  1. My predictions:

    GROUP A:Magnus Carlsen 8,5 points
    GROUP B:Luke McShane 8 points
    GROUP C: Murtas Kazhgaleyev 9,0 points

    And surelly, I'm not Paul the Octopus... lol

  2. I'm rooting for Bluvshtein in group C - I found his blog the other day, and I like his style.

  3. I'm pumped ! Nice seeds. Hope the live coverage will be good.

  4. I'm excited that we won't have to watch Tiviakov try to make 14 draws in a row. Lots of *great* fighters in the A group! I will be rooting for Nakamura since he is the only American and his games are usually exciting. In the B group i will follow Wesley So and Le Quang Liem since they are from nontraditional chess countries. Also i agree with Kyle that Mark Bluvshtein seems like a cool guy so i'll root for him.

  5. Hehe good point Katar! I also will watch Bluvshtein. I've played with him in two tournaments, once in Gausdal I think in 2003 and then in Budapest 2006 or 2007. He is a very outgoing and nice person and I wish him nothing but the best!

    So and Quang Liem are interesting talents and worth keeping an eye on.