Youth Prevailed in Corus Solving / Yochanan Afek
All three Corus grandmaster tournaments this year saw youth players dominating an experienced field. At least in this respect the first Corus solving tourney for endgame studies was no exception. 18 years old Twan Burg, a Fide master from Schijndel (a small town in the Dutch southern province of Brabant) who plays for HMC Den Bosch, emerged a clear victor, ahead of a strong field, headed by two times solving world champion GM John Nunn and members of the Dutch and Belgian national solving teams.
22 solvers worked hard for 3 hours, to crack 9 tough studies especially created for this event by such composers as Jan Timman, Yochanan Afek, Piotr Murdzia, Andjey Jasik, Gady Costeff, Ilham Aliev and Siegfried Hornecker. GM Daniel Stellwagen, a strong solver who could not take part in the official contest due to his participation in the top GM group, gave the entries a pilot try and classified them according to their difficulty. There was a prize-fund of 750 Euros as well as study database and book prizes.
As expected, none of the solvers managed to crack all entries, yet Twan was best to conquer seven of them, scoring 36 points out of the maximum of 45. The favorite, Englishman John Nunn, ended up second scoring 32 points, ahead of the Belgian solving champion Eddy Van Beers 28. The money-prize winners were followed by Dutch solving champion GM Dolf Wissmann and Martin van Essen with 22 points each.
The event was sponsored by Corus tournament, ARVES (the Dutch-Flemish society for endgame studies) and Harold van der Heijden. Chief arbiter was Ward Stoffelen from Belgium. Members of the organizing committee of Corus tournament, Theo Hogland (in the opening ceremony) and Arno Vrins (in the prize-giving) who greeted the participants, expressed their wish to carry on the new tradition also next year as part of the world's most prestigious chess festival.
A special booklet (edited by Luc Palmans and printed by bernd ellinghoven) was presented with the full award of last year's monumental Corus-70 composing JT and distributed among players and officials.
Here are the complete final standings:
1. Twan Burg 36 (45 maximum)
2. John Nunn (GB) 32
3. Eddy Van Beers (BE) 28
4-5. Dolf Wissmann & Martin van Essen 22
6-7. Chiel van Oosterom & Hans Uitenbroek 19
8-9. Marcel Van Herck (BE) & Willem van Briemen 18
10. René Olthof 17
11. Nils Nijs (BE) 16
12. Jan Balje 15
13. Bert van der Marel 14
14. Harold van der Heijden 13
15. Armen Hacijan 12
16. Antti Parkkinen (Fin) 11
17-19. Harry Sibbing, Lex Jongsma & Harm Benak 10
20. Semen Minyeyevtse (BE) 9
21-22. Guus Rol & Luc Palmans (BE) 8
The studies nonetheless cannot be shown here as they are now again the composers' property.