As expected, we start 2010 with Magnus Carlsen of Norway becoming the youngest player ever to be world #1 with the publication on January 1 of the new FIDE rating list.
The 19-year-old won two of the biggest tournaments of the old year past at Nanjing and London, while finishing close to the top at almost every other elite tournament he played in 2009. Carlsen (2810) also now becomes only the fifth player in history to break the 2800 barrier as he tops the world rankings ahead of Topalov (2805), Anand (2790) and Kramnik (2788).
And ICC's countdown to Corus starts with Carlsen heading the field in one of the strongest super-tournaments of the year at Wijk aan Zee in the Netherlands.
The annual "Dutch treat", sponsored by steel makers Corus, also sees an intriguing battle likely to ensue as World Champion Vishy Anand and former champion Vladimir Kramnik get set to again test the mettle of the young Norwegian teenager. The full field can be found by clicking here.
Chess.FM will also be on the air throughout bringing you all the best of the live action from Corus! We'll have the regular live broadcast with Mig and the grandmaster Chess.FM team. Macauley Peterson will also be in the press room at Corus for all the latest news and the video action.
We'll also have the New In Chess trivia, where each day an ICC member can win a 1-year subscription to New In Chess magazine. There's also Game of the Day trivia sponsored by USCF Sales, where each day an ICC member can win a $70 gift certificate for the USCF Sales store.
And with 2010 being officially the start of the Magnus Carlsen era, this could be the best year ever to join ICC as we follow his path to the World Championship and beyond! To join ICC in time for our Corus coverage, please click here.
The 2009 World Team Chess Championship takes place 5th till 14th January in Bursa, the old capitol of Turkey.
The Federations qualified to participate in the Championship are: Continental Champions - Russia, Brazil, India (replacing China) and Egypt; top three teams from the 2008 Chess Olympiad - Armenia, Israel and USA; two wildcard teams invited the approval of the FIDE president - Azerbaijan and Greece; and finally host team Turkey.
There's been some spectacular play so far during the first five rounds of the competition (checkout Gelfand-Nakamura Rd.5!). Russia and USA are tied in first place with 8-points with top seeds Russia with the better tiebreak scores. In 3rd-4th place is Armenia and India on 7-points. The last four rounds looks likely to be exciting, and you can follow the action each day live here on ICC. Play gets underway each day at 8AM ET (final round 3AM).