The elite Tata Steel tournaments in Wijk aan Zee are underway and take place from January 13-29, with two main tournaments, the Masters with both Magnus Carlsen and Serget Karjakin as headliners, as well as Wesley So, Levon Aronian, Anish Giri, Baskaran Adhiban, Radoslaw Wojtaszek, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Richard Rapport, Dmitri Andreikin, Wei Yi, Pavel Eljanov, and Loek van Wely. All rounds in Wijk aan Zee begin at 1.30pm, except for the last round on 29 January 2017, which begins at 12.00pm. Both rounds on the Chess On Tour days start at 2.00pm.
Preceding the start of the tournament was the Opening ceremony, or rather ceremonies with an ‘S’. The Challengers enjoyed their own get together joined by the other participants, many of whom are friends, at a dinner where the drawing of lots was held.
The first round of the Wijk aan Zee tournament was more than simply the opening round, at least symbolically. It brought with it the promise of a bit of history on several levels. On the one hand, Magnus Carlsen has now tied Vishy Anand with five tournament wins, the current record, and while tying the record is certainly wonderful, beating it is even more so. Will he be able to show his magic and some of his legendary fighting spirit for a sixth title? Then there is the matter of Sergey Karjakin, his recent rival. Although Carlsen eventually prevailed in his title defense during the rapid games, the fact is he was unable to show his superiority in the traditional standard games. Now, one and a half months later, they are scheduled to face off once more, in what some may see as a potential tiebreaker.
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