Tata Steel Tournament preview (and three interviews to follow!)

0 | Chess Event Coverage

Next Saturday the 74th Tata Steel Chess Tournament begins in Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands. Today we give a preview, and we'll post three interviews with distinguished participants in the coming days!

EventTata Steel Chess Tournament | PGN via TWIC
DatesJanuary 13th-29th, 2012
LocationWijk aan Zee, The Netherlands
System3 GM groups with 14 players-player double round robin
A group
Carlsen, Aronian, Radjabov, Topalov, Karjakin, Ivanchuk, Gashimov, Nakamura, Gelfand, Caruana, Kamsky, Giri, Navara, Van Wely
B group
Bruzon, Potkin, Motylev, Tiviakov, Harikrishna, Ernst, L'Ami, Reinderman, Timman, Nyzhnik, Lahno, Vocaturo, Harika, Cmilyte
C group
Sadler, Turov, Adhiban, Tikkanen, Grover, Brandenburg, Danielian, Paehtz, Sachdev, Hopman, Ootes, Haast, Schut, Goudriaan
Rate of play100 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 50 minutes for 20 moves, then 15 minutes for the remaining moves with 30 seconds cumulative increment for each move starting from the first move.

The Tata Steel Chess Tournament, which runs from January 13th till 29th in Wijk aan Zee, has three main tournaments. They are played according to the 'round robin' system, whereby each competitor plays in turn against every other during the tournament. All three Grandmaster groups have 14 players and start on January 14th. All rounds begin at 13:30 CET, except for the last round on January 29th, which begins at 12.00 hours. There are rest days on January 18th, 23rd, and 26th. 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 cumulative increment for each move starting from the first move.


In the coming days we'll publish three interviews with participants of this year's Tata Steel tournament: a participant from each GM group who, in one way or another, makes some kind of 'comeback' in Wijk aan Zee. Tomorrow we'll have top seed in the C Group: Matthew Sadler. On Thursday we'll publish and interview with the legendary Dutch grandmaster Jan Timman and on Friday we have the winner of the 2005 FIDE World Championship in San Luis: Veselin Topalov. Stay tuned!

Yesterday we noted that the open tournament in Hastings is the longest running in the world, but the one in Wijk aan Zee is strong second. This year it's already the 74th edition, so we can expect something special for next year. Perhaps this is the reason why especially GM group B looks slighly weaker than we're used to, but surely we're about to enjoy yet another great festival!

Tata Steel 2012 | Participants A group

GMCarlsen, MagnusNOR28351
GMAronian, LevonARM28052
GMRadjabov, TeymourAZE27735
GMTopalov, VeselinBUL27706
GMKarjakin, SergeyRUS27697
GMIvanchuk, VasilyUKR27668
GMGashimov, VugarAZE276110
GMNakamura, HikaruUSA275912
GMGelfand, BorisISR273916
GMCaruana, FabianoITA273617
GMKamsky, GataUSA273220
GMGiri, AnishNED271428
GMNavara, DavidCZE271230
GMVan Wely, LoekNED269254


Tata Steel 2012 | Participants B group

GMBruzon, LazaroCUB2691
GMPotkin, VladimirRUS2684
GMMotylev, AlexanderRUS2677
GMTiviakov, SergeyNED2677
GMHarikrishna, PentalaIND2665
GMErnst, SipkeNED2606
GML'Ami, ErwinNED2596
GMReinderman, DimitriNED2581
GMTimman, JanNED2571
GMNyzhnik, IllyaUKR2568
GMLahno, KaterynaUKR2557
GMVocaturo, DanieleITA2545
GMHarika, DronavalliIND2516
GMCmilyte, ViktorijaLTU2503


Tata Steel 2012 | Participants C group

GMSadler, MatthewENG2660
GMTurov, MaximRUS2645
GMAdhiban, BaskaranIND2561
GMTikkanen, HansSWE2549
IMGrover, SahajIND2532
GMBrandenburg, DaanNED2527
GMDanielian, ElinaARM2490
IMPaehtz, ElisabethGER2454
IMTania, SachdevIND2411
 Hopman, PieterNED2342
 Ootes, LarsNED2326
WIMHaast, AnneNED2290
WIMSchut, LisaNED2290
FMGoudriaan, EtienneNED2279


During the tournament there will be live commentary sessions in the 'Tata Steel Chess Pavilion', a huge tent located a 2-minute walk from the playing hall. The commentary begins every day at 14:30 CET, except for Sunday, January 29th, when the commentary begins at 13:00 CET.


Commentary schedule

Saturday 14 January 2012Ivan Sokolov
Sunday 15 January 2012Ivan Sokolov
Monday 16 January 2012Gert Ligterink
Tuesday 17 January 2012Jop Delemarre
Thursday 19 January 2012Lex Jongsma
Friday 20 January 2012Gert Ligterink and John van der Wiel
Saturday 21 January 2012Hans Böhm and John van der Wiel
Sunday 22 January 2012Genna Sosonko and Hans Ree
Tuesday 24 January 2012Jan Smeets and Daniël Stellwagen
Wednesday 25 January 2012Ivan Sokolov and Friso Nijboer
Friday 27 January 2012Genna Sosonko and Paul van der Sterren
Saturday 28 January 2012Hans Böhm
Sunday 29 January 2012Hans Böhm

The festival includes many side events as well. There are nine-round and three-round events and a rapid tournament, where hundreds of amateurs in total will participate. On Sunday, January 29th the International Solving Championship (ISC) will take place. The solving championship will be held simultaneously in various countries at the very same time. In 2011 more than 200 solvers from 28 countries took part and the winner was the English GM John Nunn. More info here.

Below you'll find some statistics of the 73 previous editions. You can find much more at the special statistics page on the official website.

Wijk aan Zee statistics

Name# Tournament victoriesName# Played games
Anand, Viswanathan5Donner, Johannes298
Euwe, Max4Timman, Jan H260
Korchnoi, Viktor4Ree, Hans258
Portisch, Lajos4Langeweg, Kick223
Donner, Johannes3Van Scheltinga, Theo221
Geller, Efim3Van Wely, Loek221
Kasparov, Garry3Anand, Viswanathan195
Nunn, John D.M.3Piket, Jeroen176
Carlsen, Magnus2Van Der Wiel, John T.H.171
Aronian, Levon2Korchnoi, Viktor160
Karpov, Anatoly2Adams, Michael156
Larsen, Bent2Sosonko, Gennadi151
Nikolic, Predrag2Kramnik, Vladimir143
Olafsson, Fridrik2Andersson, Ulf140
Polugaevsky, Lev2Hort, Vlastimil140
Salov, Valery2Ivkov, Borislav131
Short, Nigel2Leko, Peter130
Sosonko, Gennadi2Topalov, Veselin130
Timman, Jan H2Nikolic, Predrag127
Topalov, Veselin2Portisch, Lajos127
Van Scheltinga, Theo2Shirov, Alexei123
Browne, Walter S.2Sokolov, Ivan121
Cortlever, Nicolaas1Huebner, Robert Dr.119
Andersson, Ulf1O`Kelly de Galway, Alberic118
Dreev, Alexey1Ivanchuk, Vassily104
Gelfand, Boris1Kramer, Haije99
Ivanchuk, Vassily1Short, Nigel99
Ivkov, Borislav1Kavalek, Lubomir95
Karjakin, Sergey1Van den Berg, Carel95
Keres, Paul1Browne, Walter S.94
Kramnik, Vladimir1Cortlever, Nicolaas90
Leko, Peter1Van der Sterren, Paul85
Ljubojevic, Ljubomir1Miles, Anthony84
Balashov, Yuri S1Matanovic, Aleksandar83
Matanovic, Aleksandar1Olafsson, Fridrik83
Milic, Borislav1Nunn, John D.M.82
Nakamura, Hikaru1Gelfand, Boris81
Nei, Iivo1Ljubojevic, Ljubomir80
Bareev, Evgeny1Tiviakov, Sergei80
O`Kelly de Galway, Alberic1Seirawan, Yasser79
Petrosian, Tigran V1Kuijpers, Frans A75
Pilnik, Herman1Bobotsov, Milko75
Pirc, Vasja1Tal, Mikhail67
Prins, Lodewijk1Carlsen, Magnus65
Radjabov, Teimour1Aronian, Levon65
Ribli, Zoltan1Morozevich, Alexander65
Beliavsky, Alexander G1Polgar, Judit65
Rossolimo, Nicolas1Bouwmeester, Hans65
Sax, Gyula1Pilnik, Herman62
Seirawan, Yasser1Salov, Valery58
Spassky, Boris V.1Larsen, Bent57
Stahlberg, Gideon1Geller, Efim56
Taimanov, Mark E1Bareev, Evgeny56
Tal, Mikhail1Karpov, Anatoly53
Tartakower, Savielly1Rossolimo, Nicolas53
Trifunovic, Petar1Grischuk, Alexander52
Van den Hoek, Arnold1Karjakin, Sergey52
Wijnans, Arthur1Ponomariov, Ruslan52
Van Dijk, Jilling1Radjabov, Teimour52
Bakker, Philip1Svidler, Peter52
Botvinnik, Mikhail1Van Steenis, Hendrik52
Bouwmeester, Hans1Ligterink, Gert50


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