The Top Chess Players in the World

GM Jorden van Foreest

Jorden van Foreest
Full name
Jorden van Foreest
Born
Apr 30, 1999 (age 23)‎
Place of birth
Utrecht, the Netherlands
Federation
Netherlands
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Bio

Jorden van Foreest is a Dutch grandmaster and the Dutch Chess Champion of 2016. He is best known for winning the Tata Steel Masters in 2021. He’s the youngest Dutch GM in history and currently ranked second in the country (March 2021).

Early Chess Career (2005 To 2015)

Van Foreest was introduced to chess by his father at a young age, which isn’t surprising given the family’s chess dynasty. His great, great grandfather Arnold van Foreest was a three-time Dutch Chess Champion (1889, 1893, and 1902), and Arnold’s older brother also won three championships (1885 to 1887). Additionally, Jorden has several chess-playing siblings.

He first gained attention in chess by winning the under-14 European Youth Chess Championship in 2013 with an undefeated score. A year later, in 2014, he became an international master. Then, the next year, van Foreest made history by earning his GM title in 2016 at the age of 16. He became the youngest-ever Dutch GM. (Note that GM Anish Giri was not a Dutch player when he became the youngest GM in the world in 2009, at the age of 14.)

Dutch Champion (2016 To 2020)

In 2016, the 17-year-old prodigy won the Dutch Chess Champion with 5.5/7 points, denying seven-time champion Loek van Wely his eighth national title. Van Foreest earned an impressive 2819 tournament performance rating in the event.

Jorden van Foreest in 2016
Jorden van Foreest in 2016. Photo: GFHund, CC 4.0.

He had several top finishes to round out this period in his young career. They include placing fifth in the 2017 World Junior Chess Championship, fifth in the 2018 Tata Steel Challengers, shared first (second on tiebreak to his younger brother, Lucas van Foreest) in the 2019 Dutch Chess Championship, and fourth in the 2020 Tata Steel Masters.

Tata Steel Masters Champion (2021)

Van Foreest shocked the chess world and put the crowning achievement on his still-young career by winning the 2021 Tata Steel Chess Tournament.

The victory came in dramatic fashion. He managed to defeat his compatriot Giri in the playoffs, winning on time in an armageddon tiebreaker.

Van Foreest’s win made Dutch chess history. He became the first Dutch player to win the famed tournament since GM Jan Timman took it in 1985—36 years before. The victory came against a truly elite field, including the two top-ranked GMs in the world, World Champion Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana.

Present And Future

After winning the so-called “Wimbledon of Chess,” van Foreest’s victory in such a prestigious tournament has propelled his rating and his career. He broke 2700 for the first time and has already received acclaim for such an impressive win.

Jorden van Foreest wins in Wijk aan Zee
Jorden van Foreest wins in Wijk aan Zee. Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit/Tata Steel Chess.

Only 21 years of age at the time of winning the 2021 Tata Steel Tournament, look for van Foreest to prove this win isn’t a fluke. He’ll have his chance at more elite events, and if he can continue his incredible momentum, he’ll be right up there with the best players in the world.

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