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Carlsen, Caruana Top Field For 2022 Tata Steel Chess Tournament
Carlsen and Caruana in a game earlier this year. Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit/Tata Steel Chess.

Carlsen, Caruana Top Field For 2022 Tata Steel Chess Tournament

PeterDoggers
| 58 | Chess Event Coverage

The 84th edition of the Tata Steel Chess tournament during January 14-30, 2022 in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands, will again have the world's top two players, GM Magnus Carlsen and GM Fabiano Caruana. On Tuesday, 13 of the 14 participants were announced; four are in the world's top 10.

Update November 23, 2021: The 14th name was added today: GM Vidit Gujrathi.

Carlsen will be playing in Wijk aan Zee for the 18th time. He won the Grandmaster Group C when he was 13 in his first year in 2004 and has won the main tournament a record of seven times. Caruana, the winner in 2020, will come to Wijk aan Zee for the 10th time.

GM Jorden van Foreest, the defending champion, will again be representing the Dutch delegation with GM Anish Giri. GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and GM Daniil Dubov, who were initially announced for the 2021 tournament but had to withdraw for reasons related to the pandemic, will get a new chance next year.

The youngest participants are 16-year-old GM Praggnanandhaa R. from India, who has made a strong impression during the pandemic in many online events, and 19-year-old GM Andrey Esipenko from Russia, who managed to beat Carlsen in their first-ever encounter in the last edition. 

Tata Steel Chess 2022 | Participants

# Fed Name Rating World ranking
1 Magnus Carlsen 2855 1
2 Fabiano Caruana 2791 3
3 Anish Giri 2774 6
5 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2765 11
4 Richard Rapport 2763 12
6 Jan-Krzysztof Duda 2756 14
7 Sergey Karjakin 2743 18
8 Vidit Gujrathi 2727 23
9 Daniil Dubov 2714 27
10 Andrey Esipenko 2713 28
11 Sam Shankland 2708 31
12 Jorden van Foreest 2701 37
13 Nils Grandelius 2669 64
14 Praggnanandhaa R. 2610 196

Updated to November 2021 FIDE ratings.

Due to restrictions related to the pandemic, the Masters tournament was the only event that was held on-site in January 2021. Although COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations have been increasing lately in the Netherlands—as in many other European countries—the organizers are optimistic that the tournament can return to its traditional form, which includes the Challengers group, the amateur tournaments, and the presence of spectators.

Hans van den Berg, CEO of Tata Steel Netherlands, was quoted in the press release: "Wijk aan Zee will turn into the familiar dazzling center of the chess world once again in January. The village will be steeped in chess, like in the old days. I am very much looking forward to this.

"The last edition was very successful and even had a Dutch winner, but due to the COVID-19 measures, the special atmosphere was lacking in Wijk aan Zee. We are going to reintroduce it next year. Of course, we will follow government policy at all times. In case additional corona measures are introduced, we will adjust the tournament accordingly."

Tournament director Jeroen van den Berg: "I am delighted that we will be able to organize amateur tournaments again and will be receiving visitors as well. The mix of amateurs and grandmasters all playing their games in the hall in De Moriaan is unique in the world and creates a very special atmosphere. I am certain that chess aficionados all over the world will rejoice at this news."

Hans van den Berg (on the left), Anish Giri and Jeroen van den Berg (on the right) at the announcement of the field of participants of the Tata Steel Masters 2022
Hans van den Berg (left), Anish Giri, and Jeroen van den Berg (right) at Tuesday's press conference. Photo: Tata Steel Chess.

In the week of October 12-19, 50 percent more people tested positive for COVID-19 compared to the week before in the country. The number of new patients admitted to a hospital with COVID-19 increased to 584 admissions last week, which was 34 percent more than the week before. Of all Dutch citizens 12 years or older, 18.3 percent have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Nicknamed the "Wimbledon of Chess," the Tata Steel Chess tournament will be held for the 84th time. It was first held in 1938 with just four players, all from the Netherlands. It soon grew into an internationally renowned tournament and in its long history, it has had to be canceled only once: in 1945, due to World War II.

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