Carlsen To Defend Tata Steel Chess Title
Magnus Carlsen, again the top seed in Wijk aan Zee. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Carlsen To Defend Tata Steel Chess Title

| 26 | Chess Event Coverage

Magnus Carlsen will once again be playing in the Tata Steel Chess Tournament, January 11-27, 2019 in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands. The two external rounds will be played in Alkmaar and Leiden.

Carlsen, who is currently defending his world champion title in London, will try to win the tournament for the seventh time. Last year he won the tournament for a record sixth time, after beating Anish Giri a the tiebreak. The Dutch grandmaster will be back as well.

Besides Carlsen (1) and Giri (5), the field includes four more top 10 players: Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (3), Ding Liren (4), Vladimir Kramnik (7) and Viswanathan Anand (8). The organizers didn't manage to come to an agreement with Carlsen's opponent in London, Fabiano Caruana.

Five players will be making their debut in the highest group in Wijk aan Zee: Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Sam Shankland, Vladimir Fedoseev, Vidit Santosh Gujrathi and Jorden van Foreest. The latter has finished his secondary school and has decided to try his luck as a fulltime chess player.

"He already drew attention by becoming Dutch champion at 17, but then it was a little too early for him," said tournament director Jeroen van den Berg. "Although his rating is relatively low for the Tata Steel Masters, I think his time has come now. Jorden can now show whether he is up to the task. He has displayed a lot of talent and this experience will only make him stronger." 

The 81st edition of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament will take place January 11-27, 2019. Once again, there will be two "Chess On Tour" events, when the players of the Masters will play at external locations:

  • The 5th round in Theater de Vest in Alkmaar on Wednesday, January 16
  • The 10th round in the Pieterskerk in Leiden on Wednesday, January 23.

All rounds are open to the public free of charge and can also be followed online. will again be partnering with the tournament and provide live commentary on and

2019 Tata Steel Chess Masters | Participants

# Rank Country Name Rating Born
1 1 Carlsen, Magnus 2835 1990
2 3 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2817 1985
3 4 Ding, Liren 2816 1992
4 5 Giri, Anish 2780 1994
5 7 Kramnik, Vladimir 2777 1975
6 8 Anand, Viswanathan 2773 1969
7 13 Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2763 1990
8 14 Radjabov, Teimour 2757 1987
9 19 Duda, Jan-Krzysztof 2738 1998
10 29 Shankland, Samuel 2724 1991
11 32 Fedoseev, Vladimir 2714 1995
12 44 Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi 2702 1994
13 194 Van Foreest,Jorden 2613 1999

The 14th player will be announced in December, when it is known who will be the highest ranked player in the ACP Competition with a rating under 2750 on 1 December. The participants of the Tata Steel Challengers will be announced at the same time.

More from PeterDoggers
Gender Bias Research Shows Parents, Mentors Shortchange Girls’ Chess Potential

Gender Bias Research Shows Parents, Mentors Shortchange Girls’ Chess Potential

Nepomniachtchi Repeats Levitov Chess Week Victory

Nepomniachtchi Repeats Levitov Chess Week Victory