The Tata Steel Chess Tournament traditionally takes place in the coastal village of Wijk aan Zee, North Holland. Since 2014 we also host two Tata Steel Chess On Tour events at other exciting locations in the Netherlands. The Spoorwegmuseum in Utrecht and Science Center NEMO in Amsterdam hosted our 2016 Chess On Tour events. Locations for our 79th tournament will be announced closer to the time.
The Tata Steel Chess Tournament has two main tournaments. They are played according to the ’round robin’ system, whereby each competitor plays in turn against every other during the tournament. The Tata Steel Masters has 14 participants and the Tata Steel Challengers has 14 participants. Both groups start on 14 January 2016. All rounds in Wijk aan Zee begin at 1.30pm, except for the last round on 29 January 2017, which begins at 12.00pm.
The Tata Steel Chess Tournament
With its unique characteristic of amateurs playing in the very same room as Grandmasters, our tournament appeals to chess lovers from around the world. Many will visit the tournament to put their skills to the test against fellow players, while others will be hoping to simply catch a glimpse of their chess heroes. For those who cannot be there in person, live commentary is provided online during the tournament.
Whatever their reason for visiting the Tata Steel Chess Tournament, everyone can expect an unrivalled chess experience.
During the tournament there will be live commentary from famous chess masters. Click here to see the commentator schedule.
The most famous chess tournament on the planet, Tata Steel Wijk aan Zee in the Netherlands, starts its 2017 edition this weekend with the first round free and live to watch online from 12.30pm on Saturday.
Its central theme will be Magnus Carlsen’s attempt to win by a clear margin and so reinforce the 26-year-old world champion’s ambitions to establish himself as the best player of all time ahead of the legends Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov.
Carlsen has a good opportunity because three of his major rivals, the world No2, Fabiano Caruana, and the dangerous Hikaru Nakamura from the US as well as France’s world No5, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, have all preferred to play at Tradewise Gibraltar, which starts on 24 January and is cementing its reputation as the best organised and strongest open tournament.
The Norwegian still faces two top-class challengers. Russia’s Sergey Karjakin will be out for revenge for his match defeat by Carlsen in New York and will want to confirm his victory at the world blitz (see this week’s puzzle). The world No4, America’s Wesley So, won the 2016 Grand Tour along with last month’s London Classic and was the most successful elite grandmaster of all in 2016. Friday’s drawing of lots gave Carlsen the black pieces against So in Saturday’s opening round and White against Karjakin in the 13th and final round on 29 January.
Armenia’s Levon Aronian and Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi will be serious contenders, while Hungary’s Richard Rapport, aged 20, and the 17-year-old Chinese champion Wei Yi are the rising stars.
Wijk also features a Challengers tournament where 12 of the 14 players are GMs and where England has a serious contender. Gawain Jones, the 29-year-old UK No5, has been in fine form recently. Jones will aim to surpass his No3 seeding, finish first and so qualify for Wijk’s top event in 2018.
India’s Deep Sengupta, who won the Hastings Masters last week, used an interesting strategy to defeat a weaker opponent looking for a draw. His queen’s side castling as Black is very unusual in this type of quiet opening but it had the desired effect of inducing White to throw pieces at the castled king, which Sengupta repelled by active piece play and then forcing judicious exchanges. Gordon Scott should have tried 22 Nd2! since as the game went he resigned three pawns down without compensation.
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