Tata starts in two days - all the info

PeterDoggers
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Tata starts in two days - all the infoIt will hardly be news to the readers out here: the 2011 Tata Steel Chess Tournament begins with its first round next Saturday. Yet again the organizers have managed to collect very interesting fields of participants for their Grandmaster Groups A, B and C. We bring you all the info.

The Tata Steel Chess Tournament, formerly known as Corus Chess Tournament, formerly known as Hoogovens Chess Tournament, is held from Friday, January 14th till Sunday, January 30th, 2011. As always, the whole party will take place in the small coastal town of Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands. For the correct pronunciation: [audio:http://www.chessvibes.com/audio/tata11/wijkaanzee.mp3]

Few of the about 2400 inhabitants of Wijk aan Zee will miss the fact that the chess tournament is taking place again. The sudden, and temporary increase in this number of inhabitants generates a welcome economic boost in the otherwise quiet winter season. And the fact that the tournament has been held since 1938 makes it hard for anyone living in Wijk aan Zee not to know about it!

This year will be a bit different than previous years. A new name (Tata), a new logo (blue - in fact it's part of a completely new design style) and a new website: tatasteelchess.com. (Somehow the design looks a bit like ours, doesn't it.)

The original company Koninklijke Hoogovens was a Dutch steel producer founded in 1918. In 1999, the company merged with British Steel to create Corus Group steel company. In 2007, Corus Group was purchased by India-based Tata Steel and now, almost four years later, its chess tournament is named after the mother company.

But it looks like almost everything else will stay the same. We'll have the traditional Amateur tournaments starting with the Weekend-three-round event (groups of four play three games on the first weekend, starting on Friday night so before anyone else), then the Weekday-three-round event (similar, starting on Monday), the Nine-round event (the most popular, held during the second week with dozens of groups of ten players playing a round-robin) and the Rapid seven-round Swiss during the second weekend. Registration has finished already; except for the Weekday event everything is full!

The following event overview shows that much more is organized in fact. Naturally we got this from the official site, where they apparently forgot to change Corus into Tata for this one. ;-)

Tata event overview

And, of course, we'll have the three Grandmaster Groups. Again they're three 14-player round-robins. All rounds begin at 13.30 CET, except for the last round on January 30th, which begins at 12.00 hours. There are three rest days: on January 19th, 24th, and 27th. The time control is 100 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 50 minutes for 20 moves, then 15 minutes for the remaining moves with 30 seconds increment for each move starting from the first move.

Yet again the organizers have managed to collect very interesting fields of participants for their Grandmaster Groups A, B and C. Let's have a look at all three.

The Grandmaster Group A has an average rating of 2740 and is a Category 20 event. The organizers got the world's top 4 coming to Wijk aan Zee: Carlsen, Anand, Aronian and Kramnik. And what we already see in this top group is that the organizers always invite a number of players who are known for their interesting chess and fighting spirit. In this category fit players such as Nakamura, Nepomniachtchi and Shirov. Giri qualified from B last year and the other local heros are the two GMs famously born on the same day: Erwin l'Ami and Jan Smeets, both regular seconds of Bulgarian top GM Veselin Topalov. It's his name that's perhaps most missed this year, together with that of Vassily Ivanchuk. [Update: And we should add Sergey Karjakin and Kingloek here...]

Tata Steel Chess 2011 | Participants A Group
Tata Steel Chess 2011 | Participants A Group




The Grandmaster Group B has an average rating of 2659 and is a Category 17 event. It's the youngest group of the three, with only two players born before 1981. It has many rising stars who are on the edge of getting into the group of elite players. Wojtaszek, one of Anand's seconds, won lots of rating points recently and now tops the field at 2726. Other big names include Navara, Efimenko, So, Le Quang Liem and McShane, who have had big successes in their career already. Another Anand second plays in the same group: his compatriot Ganguly. The nestor is Dutch GM Friso Nijboer, while the young Dutch GM Wouter Spoelman will face his biggest ever challenge.

Tata Steel Chess 2011 | Participants B Group
Tata Steel Chess 2011 | Participants B Group




The Grandmaster Group C has an average rating of 2507 and is a Category 11 event. As always, this group has a big number of Dutch IMs who this way get an excellent chance to score a GM norm. The two top favourites, with a rating above 2600, are the relatively unkown grandmasters Kazhgaleyev and Ivanisevic. Much is expected from the talented Darius Swiercz, who qualified via the 2010 Cultural Village tournament together with IM Roeland Pruijssers. And finally we get to see 14-year-old GM elect Ilya Nyzhnyk in Wijk aan Zee!

Tata Steel Chess 2011 | Participants C Group
Tata Steel Chess 2011 | Participants C Group


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