Monthly Archives: January 2015

Verbal highlights from six days at the venue


Baadur Jobava (all photos by Alina l’Ami)

This might be a bit inspired by “Chess in Tweets” – with one difference: While Eric Reem’s effort to collect-compile-select material from the Twittersphere is certainly appreciated, this article has mostly quotes that – to my knowledge – aren’t available anywhere else on the Internet. At least in English, many already appeared in my German reports on Tata Steel 2015, collectively available here. Some are from press conferences, I use only the answers to my own questions. In some other cases, it was a matter of being at the right spot at the right moment, often with no other reporters nearby – sometimes it was pure luck, sometimes I pushed my luck a little bit. One interview was partly held in the bus from Wijk aan Zee to Beverwijk and the train from Beverwijk to Uitgeest. At one occasion, a casual chat (initially not meant to be published) resulted in an interesting and possibly exclusive quote.

It was my seventeenth year in Wijk aan Zee as a spectator, and the second time as a reporter with access behind the scenes. It might be relatively unknown to an international audience that Wijk aan Zee isn’t just one or two (formerly three) GM tournaments but a chess festival also for hundreds of amateurs. I always also paid some attention to these amateur events, be it only because I know a number of participants (at various levels from top group to the lowest group 9) personally. I will also have one (actually two) amateur quote(s), and some interviews with grandmasters that were hardly mentioned in other reports. For those only interested in a Carlsen quote: there will be one at the very end, but not an exclusive one – throughout the event, he was hard to catch and largely monopolized by Norwegian TV. The title photo shows a player who – to put it mildly – didn’t join the fight for first place in the A group. But in my opinion Baadur Jobava was the most entertaining player during, after and even before his games. And now in rough chronological order – Day 1-6 corresponds to rounds 1, 2, 6, 8, 11 and 13:

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Under construction


Analysis in Wijk aan Zee 2015 (Photo by Alina l’Ami)


This is a new chess site – or rather an offspring of the existing German Schachticker. Content will gradually appear – primarily edited/abridged translations of selected articles previously published in German. The reader shouldn’t expect very frequent updates: for the time being, there is only one author – an amateur with a regular paid job who does this in his spare time next to other chess writing! The first article, to appear soonish, will be “Wijk aan Zee in quotes”, one outcome of six days in Wijk aan Zee with access to the press area.

The title photo shows the author (jeans, black jackett and red shirt) “at work”, together with some other people he brings down the Elo average in the analysis room. Readers may find out on their own how many people they recognize on the photo. Just two hints: the grey-haired person at the very left is not Jan Timman who was still playing when the photo was taken. The hidden person at the very right is IM Robert Ris – briefly more clearly visible in one of the tournament videos on round 11. For today, just a few words on the author:


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January 2015
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