First Trip of 2011

I sit at the Toronto Pearson Airport as I write this quick update. I am about to leave for the longest trip I have even taken, lasting over five weeks. First I will play in the Tata Steel Chess Tournament in Wijk aan Zee. I have been trying to get into the event for years and even played a qualifier in an attempt to get into the 2010 version of the event. The event is the Wimbeldon of chess, with the best players in the world competing in the top group. The drawing of lots for my section, the C section, will occur tomorrow evening. First round starts on Saturday.

I will then have a week to spend in Europe before my next tournament. I plan to go to Brussels, a place I have never visited. The week should give me plenty of time to regain some lost energy and see a beautiful city. I will also have some time for blogging there.

From there I will go to play in the Aeroflot Open. I saw the list of participants recently. This will be a very strong event. I expect to be rated at about the 25th percentile of the A group. A blitz tournament will follow the event on February 17th. I will be back to Toronto on February 18th.

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10 Responses to First Trip of 2011

  1. RuralRob says:

    I am still not clear on the qualification process for Wijk aan Zee. Is it that you have to win the C section to get into the B section, then win in B to get into A? Or are there other paths for getting into the top sections?

  2. To get into the A-group.

    a) be really really good like epic 2700+
    b) win the B-group
    c) be Dutch and one of the highest rated players there 😉

    I think winning the C-group means we go to the B-group. That makes sense to me at least.

  3. Most of the players are invited into their respective group. I was fortunate enough to be invited into the C group. There are four participants in the C group who came out on top in the qualifying process. The winners of the D, C and B group qualify into the higher group the following year.
    The tournament is organized, in part, to help Dutch players and give them an opportunity to play higher rated players in all sections.

  4. kevin winter says:

    Hi Mark, I like your blog and it is updated regularly. I wish you well at the Tata tournament. Regards, Kevin Winter, Bingley, England

  5. Rob Brown says:

    Nice win against Swiercz in round 2. Mark. Onward and upward.

  6. David says:

    Hi Mark,

    I have been following your games for awhile now. I want to wish you luck and much success for the rest of the Tata Steel Chess tournament. Great win against Van Kampen – keep it up!

    Cheers,
    David

  7. Doug says:

    Hang in there, Mark! Two tough Rook and Pawn endgames in a row.

  8. Greg B says:

    Good work so far Mark, keep it up. We want to see you in Group B next year!

  9. Steve says:

    Absolutely fantastic game in the final round! It was exciting and a pleasure to watch live – great work Mark.

  10. Mike Magnan says:

    Well done at TATA…….You played fighting chess all the way through….did your country proud.
    Mike.

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