The Corus Chess Tournament is a unique event in many respect. It has a long tradition, running since 1938 this year was the 72nd edition already! Also it’s a very long tournament, it lasts for over 2 weeks (13 rounds) and every year the strongest grandmasters gather to play quality chess (this year the ELO average was 2720 in group A). But there are two other groups with strong GMs and some young talents – a total of 42 players are competing in the grandmaster groups. One more very interesting feature is that there are amateur groups as well and the winners of the first two amateur groups (last year it was Sjoerd Plukkel (2279) and Stefan Kuipers (2340), this year’s winners are Jan Willem de Jong (2453) and Mark van der Werf (2406) are invited to play the GM C group next year! Then by winning group C one can advance to B and A group to play even against the world champion! OK, frankly it’s very unlikely to ever happen but tell me any other way to get a serious game against a top GM? You cannot. There are also some interesting – I would say liberal – measures which contribute to the friendly playing environment. For example players are kindly asked (!) not to make short draws or if they are late at the beginning of the game instead of being forfeited they have to pay 250 EUR fine. And it works! The games are interesting and the organization is perfect. Adding up all these things and that’s why I think Corus is a unique event and if you visit the venue you will be surely amazed by the great chess atmosphere you’ll find there.
For more information please visit the Corus tournament web site.