Wijk aan Zee: Tata Steel tournament breaks records

10/25/2011 – This is the second tournament named after the Indian Steel company. But it has been played in the wind-swept Dutch sea resort since 1938. Group A is this year the strongest ever, with a rating average of 2752 (Category: 21). There are eight female players in the three groups, also a record. The event takes place from January 13 to 29. Pre-tournament information with history and statistics.

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Information and schedule

This event starts with an opening ceremony on Friday January 13th. The first round is played on Saturday 14th, the last on Sunday, January 29th, 2012. The venue is as usual the traditional De Moriaan Center in Wijk aan Zee. The tournament has taken place since 1938 and was known as the Corus Chess Tournament. The Indian company Tata Steel bought Corus (for US $7.6 billion) in 2006 and the chess event way renamed accordingly.

Wijk aan Zee (pronounced vyke ahn zeh – to rhyme with "bike on say") is a small wind-swept town on the coast of the North Sea in the municipality of Beverwijk in the province of North Holland of the Netherlands.


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The tournament takes place in three Grandmaster Groups, with a number of amateur events being held at the same time. The three Grandmaster tournaments have 14 players each and are full round robins (each competitor plays against every other).

History

The event has been held since 1938, when it was a four-player round robin played on three days. The sponsor was Hoogoven and the venue Beverwijk, a town close to Wijk where many players today take their dinner. From 1940 on Max Euwe participated, but the tournament, which in 1942 turned into a six player event, and in 1943 to eight. The final year of WWII, 1945, was the only time the tournament was not staged. From 1946 it becames a ten-player event, with some exceptions: 12 players in 1953, 18 in 1963, and then 16 players from 1964 onwards. In 1980 the first 14-player tournament was held (and won by Walter Brown and Yasser Seirawan), and that's the way it stayed, with some exceptions from 1993-1995. From 1996 onwards it reverted to fourteen players and has stayed that way until today. In 1968 it moved to Wijk aan Zee, and in 2000 it was renamed Corus, after the main sponsor. You can click on any of the tournaments listed below for participants, results, cross tables, etc.

Tata Steel 2011
Corustoernooi 2010
Corustoernooi 2009
Corustoernooi 2008
Corustoernooi 2007
Corustoernooi 2006
Corustoernooi 2005
Corustoernooi 2004
Corustoernooi 2003
Corustoernooi 2002
Corustoernooi 2001
Corustoernooi 2000
Hoogovenstoernooi 1999
Hoogovenstoernooi 1998
Hoogovenstoernooi 1997
Hoogovenstoernooi 1996
Hoogovenstoernooi 1995
Hoogovenstoernooi 1994
Hoogovenstoernooi 1993
Hoogovenstoernooi 1992
Hoogovenstoernooi 1991
Hoogovenstoernooi 1990
Hoogovenstoernooi 1989
Hoogovenstoernooi 1988
Hoogovenstoernooi 1987
Hoogovenstoernooi 1986
Hoogovenstoernooi 1985
Hoogovenstoernooi 1984
Hoogovenstoernooi 1983
Hoogovenstoernooi 1982
Hoogovenstoernooi 1981
Hoogovenstoernooi 1980
Hoogovenstoernooi 1979
Hoogovenstoernooi 1978
Hoogovenstoernooi 1977
Hoogovenstoernooi 1976
 
Hoogovenstoernooi 1975
Hoogovenstoernooi 1974
Hoogovenstoernooi 1973
Hoogovenstoernooi 1972
Hoogovenstoernooi 1971
Hoogovenstoernooi 1970
Hoogovenstoernooi 1969
Hoogovenstoernooi 1968
Hoogovenstoernooi 1967
Hoogovenstoernooi 1966
Hoogovenstoernooi 1965
Hoogovenstoernooi 1964
Hoogovenstoernooi 1963
Hoogovenstoernooi 1962
Hoogovenstoernooi 1961
Hoogovenstoernooi 1960
Hoogovenstoernooi 1959
Hoogovenstoernooi 1958
Hoogovenstoernooi 1957
Hoogovenstoernooi 1956
Hoogovenstoernooi 1955
Hoogovenstoernooi 1954
Hoogovenstoernooi 1953
Hoogovenstoernooi 1952
Hoogovenstoernooi 1951
Hoogovenstoernooi 1950
Hoogovenstoernooi 1949
Hoogovenstoernooi 1948
Hoogovenstoernooi 1947
Hoogovenstoernooi 1946
Hoogovenstoernooi 1944
Hoogovenstoernooi 1943
Hoogovenstoernooi 1942
Hoogovenstoernooi 1941
Hoogovenstoernooi 1940
Hoogovenstoernooi 1939
Hoogovenstoernooi 1938

In the lists below you can also click the players for full information

Tournament victories
Name
wins
Anand, Viswanathan
5
Euwe, Max
4
Korchnoi, Viktor
4
Portisch, Lajos
4
Donner, Johannes
3
Geller, Efim
3
Kasparov, Garry
3
Nunn, John D.M.
3
Carlsen, Magnus
2
Aronian, Levon
2
Karpov, Anatoly
2
Larsen, Bent
2
Nikolic, Predrag
2
Olafsson, Fridrik
2
Polugaevsky, Lev
2
Salov, Valery
2
Short, Nigel
2
Sosonko, Gennadi
2
Timman, Jan H
2
Topalov, Veselin
2
Van Scheltinga, Theo  
2
Browne, Walter S.
2
 
Highest win percentage
Name
Score
%
Van den Hoek, Arnold  
5.5/7
78.57
Spassky, Boris V.
11.0/15
73.33
Polugaevsky, Lev
19.0/26
73.08
Kasparov, Garry
28.5/39
73.08
Stoltz, Gosta
6.5/9
72.22
Tartakower, Savielly
6.5/9
72.22
Keres, Paul
21.5/30
71.67
Euwe, Max
35.0/49
71.43
Taimanov, Mark E
19.0/27
70.37
Lutikov, Anatoly
10.5/15
70.00
Bilek, Istvan
10.5/15
70.00
Botvinnik, Mikhail
10.5/15
70.00
Beliavsky, Alexander
18.0/26
69.23
Bronstein, David I
11.5/17
67.65
Schmidt, Paul
6.0/9
66.67
Petrosian, Tigran V
16.0/24
66.67
Nei, Iivo
20.0/30
66.67
Portisch, Lajos
84.0/127
66.14
Balashov, Yuri S
18.5/28
66.07
Geller, Efim
37.0/56
66.07
Parma, Bruno
20.5/32
64.06
Larsen, Bent
36.0/57
63.16

You will find full statistics for all players in all tournaments here.


Participants of Tata Steel 2012

Grandmaster Group A

Title
Player
Nat.
WRk
Rating

Born

GM
Carlsen, Magnus
NOR
1
2823
1990
GM
Aronian, Levon
ARM
3
2807
1982
GM
Karjakin, Sergey
RUS
5
2772
1990
GM
Topalov, Veselin
BUL
6
2768
1975
GM
Ivanchuk, Vassily
UKR
7
2765
1969
GM
Gashimov, Vugar
AZE
10
2756
1986
GM
Kamsky, Gata
USA
11
2756
1974
GM
Nakamura, Hikaru
USA
12
2753
1987
GM
Radjabov, Teimour
AZE
13
2752
1987
GM
Gelfand, Boris
ISR
15
2746
1968
GM
Giri, Anish
NED
23
2722
1994
GM
Caruana, Fabiano
ITA
32
2712
1992
GM
Navara, David
CZE
42
2705
1985
GM
Van Wely, Loek
NED
55
2689
1972
Average rating: 2752 – Category: 21

The average rating in Group A is twelve points higher that in the previous year, and the category has climbed from 20 to 21, making it the strongest in Wijk's history. The world's highest ranked player, Magnus Carlsen, is there, as are number three, Levon Aronian, and 5-7. Missing, of course, are the world's number two and four, Anand and Kramnik, but the organisers can be rightfully proud that ten of the top fifteen players are participating. Bulgarian GM Veseiln Topalov, who has been playing very little since his failed World Championship title challenge (to Viswanathan Anand in Sofia last April/May), comes back big time by accepting the invitation this this tournament. Interestingly Anand's 2012 challenger Boris Gelfand is also playing. Hikaru Nakamura, the winner of last year's edition, will of course also be in Wijk aan Zee.

Grandmaster Group B

Title
Player
Nat.
Rating
Born
GM
Motylev, Alexander
RUS
2690
1979
GM
Bruzon, Lazaro
CUB
2682
1982
GM
Harikrishna, Pentala
IND
2672
1986
GM
Potkin, Vladimir
RUS
2671
1982
GM
Tiviakov, Sergei
NED
2647
1973
GM
Reinderman, Dimitri
NED
2594
1972
GM
L'Ami, Erwin
NED
2592
1985
GM
Ernst, Sipke
NED
2581
1979
GM
Nyzhnyk, Illya
UKR
2561
1996
GM
Timman, Jan
NED
2555
1951
GM
Lahno, Kateryna
UKR
2554
1989
GM
Vocaturo, Daniele
ITA
2537
1989
GM
Cmilyte, Viktorija
LIT
2525
1983
GM
Dronavalli, Harika
IND
2505
1991
Average rating: 2597 – Category: 14

This group is considerably weaker than last year, the average rating dropping by 62 points and the category from 17 to 14. But there are some quite interesting players participating: GM Illya Nyzhnyk, the 15-year-old boy wonder, Jan Timman, the chess legend coming out of semi-retirement, and three ladies: world number five Kateryna Lahno of Ukrain, reigning European champion Viktorija Cmilyte of Lithuania and Harika Dronavalli of India, who is just 20 years old. All three carry full-blown grandmaster titles.

Grandmaster Group C

Title
Player
Nat.
Rating
Born
GM
Turov, Maxim
RUS
2643
1979
GM
Sadler, Matthew
ENG
2625
1974
GM
Tikkanen, Hans
SWE
2591
1985
GM
Brandenburg, Daan
NED
2522
1987
GM
Danielian, Elina
ARM
2517
1978
IM
Grover, Sahaj
IND
2514
1995
IM
Paehtz, Elisabeth
GER
2461
1985
IM
Sachdev, Tania
IND
2419
1986
Hopman, Pieter
NED
2351
1972
Ootes, Lars
NED
2340
1991
WIM
Schut, Lisa
NED
2290
1994
WIM
Haast, Anne
NED
2264
1993
FM
Goudriaan, Etienne
NED
2250
1990
Winner of the CVT
Average rating: 2507 – Category: 11

In 2009 this group had an average rating of 2455, in 2010 it climbed to 2507, and now it is back to 2455 (for 13 players – the winner of the Cultural Village Tournament in Wijk aan Zee, to be held from November 21 to 30 November, will join them). Five ladies are playing, including the 17-year-old Lisa Schut and 18-year-old Anne Haast. This is a very encouraging trend – last year there were just two females in all three categories, this time eight! However, we should mention that 37-year-old comeback kid Matthew Sadler is the player to watch.

Rate of play
For all three groups the rate of play is 100 minutes for 40 moves, then 50 minutes for 20 moves and finally 15 minutes for the rest of the game, with a 30 seconds/move increment starting with the first move of the game.

Location: The tournament takes place in the De Moriaan Community Centre (Dorpsduinen 4, 1949 EG Wijk aan Zee). There is running commentary on the games of the Grandmaster Groups in a special Chess Pavilion, on the Village Green in Wijk aan Zee (one minute walk from De Moriaan).

Schedule (playing days)

January 2012
M T W T F S S
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29

Games begin at 13:30h local time (CET), except for the last round on January 29th, which begins at 12:00h. There are three rest days, on January 18th, 23th, and 26th.

Commentary

There will be full broadcast of all games on the official site and on the Playchess server, which will provide live audio commentary of the most interesting games (free for Premium members) starting at 15:00h for each round, 14:00h for the final round.

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