Carlsen to Play Tata Steel, But First There's the Petrosian Memorial

Carlsen to Play Tata Steel, But First There's the Petrosian Memorial

| 36 | Chess Event Coverage

After one year of absence, Magnus Carlsen will be back in Wijk aan Zee for the 77th Tata Steel chess tournament.

Another super tournament, though, will start  November 3: the Petrosian Memorial.

Tashir Chess

In chronological order, this article should start with the “Tashir Chess Tournament in Memory of Tigran Petrosian.” Announced eight days ago, this brand new super tournament can be seen as a successor to the annual Tal Memorial in Moscow. That event quietly disappeared from the calendar, but now there's something else! 

The new tournament will run November 3-11 at Novotel Moscow City and has Levon Aronian, Vladimir Kramnik, Alexander Grischuk, Boris Gelfand, Peter Leko, Ding Liren, Alexander Morozevich and Ernesto Inarkiev. It is a single round robin with a prize fund of €100,000. 

The main sponsor is the Tashir Group, a huge real estate firm with 45,000 employees, founded by the Armenian business man Samvel Karapetyan. The link with Armenia is clear, and there's more.

The tournament is held in memory of Tigran Petrosian, who would have celebrated his 85th birthday this year. The chairman of the tournament organizing committee is the president of the Republic of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan.

Tata Steel

Another press release came in yesterday about the 2015 Tata Steel tournament. On Thursday, at a press conference held at the Congres Center of Tata Steel in Velsen-Noord, 12 of the 14 the participants of the Masters group were announced, together with two new host cities.

After playing for 10 years in a row, Magnus Carlsen suddenly skipped the 2014 Tata Steel tournament. The Dutch organizers couldn't welcome the fresh world champion from Norway, but 14 months after he won the title, and two months after his return match with Vishy Anand, Carlsen will be back in Wijk aan Zee.

The 77th edition will have four players of the world's top 10 in the current live ratings: besides Carlsen also #2 Fabiano Caruana, #4 Levon Aronian (the winner of this year’s tournament) and #7 Anish Giri.

Next on the list is Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, who is leading the Tashkent Grand Prix at the time of writing, and definitely a potential top 10 player in January. Three more young and very talented GMs are Wesley So, Ding Liren and reigning Women's World Champion Hou Yifan, who also played in the top group in 2013.

In the second half of the list we also find three experienced grandmasters: Teimour Radjabov, Vassily Ivanchuk and reigning Dutch champion Loek van Wely. Last but not least there's Ivan Saric, who was promoted from thechallengers group last year.

Two more players will be announced later, which means that after having only 12 participants in 2014, in 2015 the organizers are returning to the traditional 14.

2015 Tata Steel | 12 of the 14 participants

Name Rating World # Country
Magnus Carlsen 2863 1 Norway
Fabiano Caruana 2844 2 Italy
Levon Aronian 2793 5 Armenia
Anish Giri 2768 7 The Netherlands
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2757 13 France
Wesley So 2755 14 Philippines
Ding Liren 2730 22 China
Vasil Ivanchuk 2726 24 Ukraine
Teimour Radjabov 2726 25 Azerbaijan
Ivan Saric 2678 66 Croatia
Hou Yifan 2673 72 China
Loek van Wely 2664 85 Netherlands

Host cities

Besides Wijk aan Zee, last year one round was held in Amsterdam and one round in Eindhoven. The organizers positively evaluated the change, and will repeat this thing in 2015 with two different cities: The Hague and Rotterdam.

The fifth round will be held in De Rotterdam, the recently opened eye-catching building at the waterfront of the river Meuse in Rotterdam, designed by renowned architect Rem Koolhaas. On January 21, the 10th round of the Tata Steel Masters will take place in the recently renovated press centre Nieuwspoort in The Hague.

The field of participants of the Tata Steel Challengers group will be announced soon. However, tournament director Jeroen van den Berg has already revealed that GM Robin van Kampen and WIM Anne Haast (reigning Dutch women's champion) will be two of the particpants.

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