75. Tata Steel Chess Tournament
This event is taking place from January 12-27. The venue is as usual the traditional De Moriaan Center in the Dutch sea resort of Wijk aan Zee. The tournament has three Grandmaster Groups, which have 14 players and are held as full round robins (each competitor plays against every other). The rate of play for all three groups 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.
Free day after round ten
Before we embark on our journey to the B Group players here are some impressions sent to us by WGM Alina L'Ami, who is in Wijk supporting her husband GM Erwin, who is playing in the A Group.
A view of the coastal Dutch town of Wijk, with the players' hotels in the background
The town itself, with the giant white tented halls where the commentary is given
A visit to the Tata Steel mills in Ijmuiden. Tata is sponsoring the chess tournament
Chinese GM Hou Yifan gets a protective helmet fitted for the visit
Our photographer Alina L'Ami was not permitted to take pictures of the milling process...
... but got this nice group shot of the visitors from the chess event
Photos above by WGM Alina L'Ami
Player portraits by Frans Peeters
Below are the standings of Group B after the tenth round on Wednesday, January 24, before the third and final free day.
Standings after ten round in the B Group
In the following you will find the names of the players, their country, rating, points and their performance in the first ten rounds. In brackets are the number of rating points they have gained or lost in this event. If you take the trouble to tally these numbers you will find they come to exactly zero – the players who gained points took it from those that lost points. And with that you understand what is mean when we call this a "zero-sum game".
1st: GM Richard Rapport, HUN, 2621, 7.0/10, performance 2764 (+19)
Richárd Rapport is 16 – he will turn 17 on March 25 – a Hungarian chess prodigy who at 13 years, 11 months and 6 days became the youngest ever Hungarian grandmaster (the previous record was held by former world title challenger Péter Lékó), and the fifth ever youngest grandmaster worldwide. Richárd is one of the brightest young talents around – we predicted his coming success in this report three years ago.
2nd: GM Sergei Movsesian, ARM, 2688, 7.0/10, performance 2769 (+11)
3rd: GM Arkadij Naiditsch, 2708, GER, 6.5/10, performance 2718 (+2)
4th: GM Jan Smeets, NED, 2615, 6.5/10, performance 2717 (+14)
5th: GM Daniil Dubov, RUS, 2600, 6.0/10, performance 2692 (+13)
Another 16-year-old super-talent, 24 days younger than Richárd Rapport, he completed his final grandmaster norm at age 14 years, 11 months, 14 days. We reported on this back in August 2011.
6th: Sergey Tiviakov, NED, 2655, 5.5/10, performance 2659 (+1)
7th: GM Jan Timman, NED, 2566, 5.5/10, performance 2654 (+12)
8th: GM Romain Edouard, FRA, 2686, 5.0/10, performance 2614 (–10)
9th: GM Robin van Kampen, NED, 2581, 4.5/10, performance 2590 (+1)
10th: GM Maxim Turov, RUS, 2630, 4.5/10, performance 2591 (–6)
11th: GM Nils Grandelius, SWE, 2572, 3.5/10, performance 2514 (–8)
12th: GM Predrag Nikolic, BIH, 2619, 3.5/10, perf. 2523 (–13)
13th: GM Alexander Ipatov, TUR, 2587, 3.0/10, performance 2470 (–16)
14th: GM Sipke Ernst, NED, 2556, 2.0/10, performance 2386 (–20)
A few tactical moments from Group B
Frans Peeters, hobby photographer
The photographer who provided the above portrait pictures, is Frans Peeters. He started out as an English teacher at a large comprehensive school in Goes, Zeeland. Since 1998 he has been teaching of computer science, runs a website for teachers of ICT in The Netherlands, and incidentally translated the manuals for Playchess and ChessBase 11 into Dutch.
Frans describes his work in Wijk:
I did quite some experiments during Tata with my Nikon D4. During the first five minutes on stage I used a 85 mm prime lens 1.4, perfect for bad lighting circumstances. No zoom, but move around to get the right composition. I shoot in raw and with lighting bracketing. Exposure 1/60 and aperture switching from 1.4 up to 4 or 5. Yes, it is a superb lens. I used 'vivid' as picture control, but maybe I shouldn’t have. It makes your pictures a bit fresher/vivid. Colours are brighter. But next time I think I will try with the normal settings I think.
After the first five minutes I use my 70-200. Great lens. And the D4 has a feature/setting called soundless. It means you can take pictures without making any sound. A use a tripod and live view with soundless. A disadvantage is that you can not shoot in RAW. The best you get is jpg fine. It is like stills with a video camera in fact. But the quality is still very good. Noise is no more a problem with the D4. Meaning you can almost use any ISO you would like. Another big advantage of the D4: the speed with which you can take picture. That is absolutely enormous.
I use Adobe Lightroom to do some cropping and I practically always give my pictures a small vignette colouring. I publish all my pictures on Flickr, more than 15.000 now. I like shooting events and I take many for my school of course.
A report with portraits of players in Group C will follow soon...
The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.