Tata Steel Chess 2012

  • SonofPearl
  • on 1/12/12, 11:43 AM.

The 2012 Tata Steel Chess tournament runs from 14-29 January in Wijk Aan Zee in the Netherlands.

Once again some of the best players in the world converge on this small Dutch seaside town for three separate tournaments - the A, B and C Groups. Each tournament being a single round-robin competition of 14 players.

The A Group is the headline event, with top seed Magnus Carlsen facing a hugely impressive field - not just for their chess ability but also their fighting spirit. A truly excellent line-up of crowd-pleasing chess talent!

Play starts each day at 13:30 local time (12:30 UTC) except the final round which is at 12:00 (11:00 UTC). The official site will be broadcasting the games live here.

The time control is 100 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 50 minutes for 20 moves, then 15 minutes to a finish with a 30 seconds increment starting from the first move.  There are 3 rest days on 18, 23 & 26 January.

The full line-up in the A Group:

A Group

Name  Nat
1 Carlsen, Magnus  NOR 2835
2 Aronian, Levon  ARM 2805
3 Radjabov, Teimour  AZE 2773
4 Topalov, Veselin  BUL 2770
5 Karjakin, Sergey  RUS 2769
6 Ivanchuk, Vassily  UKR 2766
7 Gashimov, Vugar  AZE 2761
8 Nakamura, Hikaru  USA 2759
9 Gelfand, Boris  ISR 2739
10 Caruana, Fabiano  ITA 2736
11 Kamsky, Gata  USA 2732
12 Giri, Anish  NED 2714
13 Navara, David  CZE 2712
14 Van Wely, Loek  NED 2692


Hikaru Nakamura will be hoping to put his recent slip-ups at Reggio Emilia behind him to defend the breakthrough Tata title he won last yearMagnus Carlsen lost a game to Anish Giri at last year's event and will want to improve on his third placed finish.   

Lev Aronian has consolidated his 2800+ status and is another potential winner. Teimour Radjabov is in good form, but Veselin Topalov and Vassily Ivanchuk both have something to prove. Sergey Karjakin is another previous winner, but Vugar Gashimov plays in Wijk Aan Zee for the first time. Boris Gelfand will want to display some good form ahead of his world title match against Vishy Anand, and Gata Kamsky makes a welcome return. 

Young guns Fabiano Caruana and Anish Giri are starting to prove they can mix it with the big boys, David Navara qualified as (joint) winner of last year's B Group, and the experienced Loek Van Wely completes the field.

The B and C Groups:

B Group

Name  Nat Elo 
1 Bruzon Batista, Lazaro  CUB 2691
2 Potkin, Vladimir  RUS 2684
3 Tiviakov, Sergei  NED 2677
4 Motylev, Alexander  RUS 2677
5 Harikrishna, Pentala  IN
6 Ernst, Sipke  NED 2606
7 L'Ami, Erwin  NED 2596
8 Reinderman, Dimitri  NED 2581
9 Timman, Jan H  NED 2571
10 Nyzhnyk, Illya  UKR 2568
11 Lahno, Kateryna  UKR 2557
12 Vocaturo, Daniele  ITA 2545
13 Harika, Dronavalli  IND 2516
14 Cmilyte, Viktorija  LTU 2503

C Group

Name  Nat
1 Sadler, Matthew D  ENG 2660
2 Turov, Maxim  RUS 2645
3 Adhiban, Baskaran  IND 2561
4 Tikkanen, Hans  SWE 2549
5 Grover, Sahaj  IND 2532
6 Brandenburg, Daan  NED 2527
7 Danielian, Elina  ARM 2490
8 Paehtz, Elisabeth  GER 2454
9 Tania, Sachdev  IND 2411
10 Hopman, Pieter  NED 2342
11 Ootes, Lars  NED 2326
12 Schut, Lisa  NED 2290
13 Haast, Anne  NED 2290
14 Goudriaan, Etienne  NED 2279


Once again the B and C Groups promise to be entertaining tournaments in their own right, with a good mix of experience and youth, and plenty of women players for good measure.  The B Group favourites are Lazaro Bruzon and Wijk debutante Vladimir Potkin, but many eyes will be on the great veteran Jan Timman, while C-Group graduates Daniele Vocaturo, Illya Nyzhnyk and Kateryna Lahno will want to make a good impression.

The C Group is headed by semi-retired Matthew Sadler, making a rare and welcome appearance after a recent successful return to competitive chess.

Good luck to all the players! Look out for tournament updates at Chess.com!

UPDATE -The full pairings are now available here.

12520 reads 50 comments
2 votes


  • 5 years ago


    wow...Giri moonwalks all over Gelfand...eeeheee!!

    Thor of course wipes the floor of Gashimov...expected.

    ...and Aronian defeats Karjakin.

    These games are grrreat.

  • 5 years ago


    Does anybody know of a site that provides free live commentary?

  • 5 years ago


    Two inutes to go.

    Out of first round games I predict that the games Navara-Topalov, Gelfand-Giri, Kariakin-Aronian and Nakamura-Ivanchuk won't last long, and that in Games Radjabov-Caruana,Carlsen-Gashimov and Kamsky-van Welly there will be fight. Overall winner of the tournament: I would give better chances to the younger players: Carlsen, Kariakin, Giri and Caruana becose the have more energy and more easily recover from fatigue.

  • 5 years ago


    It's gonna be Naka for the title!!! 

    Dark Horse maybe Giri!!!

  • 5 years ago


    @ skattalsma "All he will do is look to draw games early collect his paycheck go home"

    As Anand has been accused of doing for a year now?

  • 5 years ago


    Come on Natalia. Gelfand will not show any of his preperation for Anand and would be foolish to do so. All he will do is look to draw games early collect his paycheck go home and continue his preperation for Anand.

  • 5 years ago


    Tania Sachdev - beauty and brain!

  • 5 years ago


    Gotta agree with Natalia. Over the last few months I have read many negative notes about Gelfand, but never once was it even raised that he was out to get a check. I do respect him for winning the chance to compete for the championship. (Carlsen's objection against the FIDE rules should not make Gelfand a lesser player. He participated where Carlsen could have participated.) Give the man a chance to prove that he is not a pushover and can swing it with Anand.

  • 5 years ago

    WGM Natalia_Pogonina

    @bsrasmus Boris is a person who deeply loves chess and works up to 10 hours a day on it. He has been Caissa's loyal servant for years, and all the pros I know agree that he has deserved the right to compete for the WC title, even if his chances are somewhat lower than Anand's. To say all he cares for is the paycheck is both insulting and very far from the truth.

    @ Aaronsky72 Polgar will be playing in Gibraltar at the end of January. The conditions there are excellent, so I understand her choice.

  • 5 years ago


    Anand in his last interview indicated that he would not be at any other tournaments until his WCC match with Gelfand...he would be useing this time to focuss on serious preparation. Is it unwise for Gelfand to be playing tournament chess so close to the WCC?

  • 5 years ago


    Hey "Twobit", 

    You are correct...a little exageration on my part. But Anand was up against a wall from the start...the whole volcano bit, and Topalov camp not agreeing with his request for I belive 3 days postponement. Anand clearly lost the first game due to fatigue...a number of blunders...and even lost one game where the general thinking was a draw (I remember chess.com stopping transmission on this game...only to be shocked by the result.)...and he won the last with black. The fact remains though, that Topalov has not been the same since...we will see if his mental state has healed.

  • 5 years ago


    @ GeoffreyBernardo

    Re: @Twobit, No. They could have invited him instead of Loek.

    Actually, they are short one Dutch player this year.

  • 5 years ago


    Where is anand?

  • 5 years ago


    why wesley so,

     is not included in the tournament......

  • 5 years ago


    I really miss Moro too Twobit...

    In my opinion he would have been tied for 5th best player in Group A (not entirely based on rating), unless Topolov has gotten worse. But am I the only one to miss Kramnik? He is really on top of his game right now (as London showed) but he's wasting it without playing... 

    Anyways, I predict Magnus wins and Aronian comes in a close second. I doubt Giri will do anything ridiculous like he did in the tournament that just finished, and there is no way he will beat Magnus again. Were Kramnik here he would also be a strong contender. Nobody else has a serious chance except for possibly Ivanchuk (who could pretty much get any score) and MAYBE someone like Radjabov.   

  • 5 years ago


    @jesterville: I am not sure that Topalov's loss could be called "whipping"; at the end he just gave up that hopeless position, while Anand just kept pushing wood quietly (The "Whipper" he is).  Topalov did not want to go to rapid play, because that in fact could have been a whipping.

  • 5 years ago


    ...it only takes one idiot...

    ...I hope the "porn guy" was re-directed accordingly...shown the door that is...

  • 5 years ago


    Cool............    waiting for ?!!

  • 5 years ago


    @Twobit, No. They could have invited him instead of Loek.

  • 5 years ago


    Am I the only one missing Moro?

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