My Tata Steel Chess 2017

My Tata Steel Chess 2017

IM RobertRis
Jan 12, 2017, 4:42 AM |

For Dutch chess players the best time of the year is certainly January when the annual Tata Steel Chess Tournament is taking place in coast village Wijk aan Zee, a 30 min drive from Amsterdam. This year it's the 79th edition, a fantastic tradition!


My tournament looks a bit different compared to most others. Whereas most of the people are playing or watching the games, I am privileged to work for the organization and be involved with some coaching of my students.




Tomorrow will be the official opening and the first round will be played on Saturday. For the amateurs the tournament is already starting on Friday, who will play a Round Robin with 4 players each group. I will be there present as well, coaching a group 6 young students from my Amsterdam Chess Academy. As a young child I started playing against adults in this exact event, which evidently gives fond memories. Together with my students and some parents we will stay nearby the venue, offering the children to experience of playing a tournament away from home!


From the 20th on the 9-round Round Robin tournaments are starting when even more students of mine are participating. One of them is even coming over from Singapore(!) to experience the special vibe the tournament is bringing to the people. There aren't so many tournaments of such a calibre where grandmasters and amateurs are packed in one room. It's only in Wijk aan Zee!


Live Stream Commentary

Like in previous I am looking forward to join GM Yasser Seirawan in the live stream for a couple of days. Sitting next to Yasser is always a great pleasure, as he shares his experience and knowledge it feels as if I'm receiving a private masterclass! Don't forget to tune in every round, but I strongly recommend you to watch January 14, 15, 28 & 29 (which is the first two and the last two rounds) when I will be there.

Last year I had the honour of going through the game Carlsen-Tomashevsky with the World Champion himself


Commentary Dutch audience


If you are intending to come to Wijk aan Zee, make sure you'll be there the Friday 20th of January when I will do the commentary for the Dutch public. Frankly, I do like this type of commentary even better than the live stream, as the interaction with the audience brings extra excitement to the games. 

In Wijk aan Zee the wooden demonstration boards are still in use!

Tata Steel Kids Weekend

Since a few years the organization of the event has implemented a special program for Children. On Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 a special kids weekend will be held with different activities to let young children get acquainted with our game. The workshops the last few years were such a great success that the program has even been extended. On January, when the Masters are on Tour in Haarlem, another special kids program will take place!

Workshop for children last year.

Looking forward going there tomorrow!