Photos: Tata Steel Tournament
On January 14, 2017, the little Dutch village Wijk aan Zee, will again become the center of the chess world. Thousands of chess fans will travel to the "De Moriaan", the event hall in Wijk, to watch the world's best players in action and/or to take part in one of the several tournaments Wijk offers for players of all levels.
But not all rounds of the Tata Steel Tournament in Wijk aan Zee are played in Wijk. The tournament travels and two of the 13 thirteen rounds of the A-group are played in a prestigious venue in other cities. This year these two "external" rounds will be played in the stadium of soccer club Feyenoord Rotterdam and in the Philharmonic Hall of Haarlem to present chess as sport and as art.
Top seed in Wijk aan Zee is World Champion Magnus Carlsen. Carlsen is a regular visitor in Wijk and plays for the 13th time - five times Carlsen has won the A-group, a record he shares with Vishy Anand. Carlsen is also the defending champion: in 2016 he won with 9.0/13, ahead of Fabiano Caruana.
Carlsen will meet an old and recent rival in Wijk: Sergey Karjakin, Carlsen's challenger in the World Championship match 2016 in New York who in December 2016 became World Blitz Champion in Doha, narrowly ahead of Carlsen.
Wesley So, one of the most successful players in 2016, will also be in Wijk, and he will try to start 2017 the way he ended 2016. In December 2016 So won the London Chess Classic and this also made him win the Grand Chess Tour 2016. In 2016 So also passed the 2800 Elo mark and with a current rating of 2808 he is number four in the world and second seed in Wijk.
Levon Aronian, Pentala Harikrishna, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Pavel Eljanov, Radoslaw Wojtaszek and Dmitri Andreikin will also hope to mix up the tournament, not to mention the young talents Richard Rapport and Wei Yi. As of January 2017 Rapport is too old to be a junior and this title went to Wei Yi. It's the second time the Chinese starts in the A-group in Wijk, but last year he showed only little youthful vigor: 11 of his 13 games ended in a draw.
Magnus Carlsen - Winner of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2016
Participants of the A-Tournament (Masters)
|GM||Van Wely, Loek||NED||2695||49|
In the B-group Markus Ragger from Austria, who plays for the first time in Wijk, is top seed. In their invitational policy the organizers again followed the pattern of previous years: they invited a number of experienced tournament players (Smirin, Jones, Dobrov), a number of Dutch players (l'Ami, van Foreest, Bok), young talents (Xiong, Lu, Hansen, Grandelius, Tari) and two female players (Guramishvili, Lei Tingjie).
It will be interesting to see how the world's best girl, Lei Tingje, the young talent from the US, Jeffery Xiong, and the young Dutch master Jorden van Foreest will fare in this field. And who will win the tournament and qualify for the A-group in the Tata Steel tournament 2018?
Participants of the B-Tournament (Challengers)
|GM||van Foreest, Jorden||NED||2612|
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.
Both groups start on 14 January 2017. All rounds in Wijk aan Zee begin at 1.30pm, except for the last round on 29 Januaryy 2017, which begins at 12.00pm. Both rounds on the Chess On Tour days start at 2.00pm.
Saturday, 14. January, 1. Round
Sunday,15. January, 2. Round
Monday, 16. January, 3. Round
Tuesday, 17. January, 4. Round
Wednesday, 18. January, Rest Day
Thursday, 19. January, 5. Round in Rotterdam
Friday, 20. January, 6. Round
Saturday, 21. January, 7. Round
Sunday, 22. January, 8. Round
Monday, 23. January, Rest Day
Tuesday, 24. January, 9. Round
Wednesday, 25. January, 10. Round in Haarlem
Thursday, 26. January, Rest Day
Friday, 27. January, 11. Round
Saturday, 28. January, 12. Round
Sunday, 29. January, 13. Round