Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2013 begins on Saturday

1/11/2013 – It is, as you know, being held in the Dutch sea resort of Wijk aan Zee. Recently we named the participants and strengths of all three groups. On Friday the opening ceremony took place, and with it the drawing of lots. This means we can give you the full schedule and pairings, as well as the world-class commentators we have lined up for you at Playchess. It's going to be an exciting two weeks.

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75. Tata Steel Chess Tournament

Live and in Color on Playchess.com

Though the last mates of 2012 were just given and the last complicated endgames were just won, the new season suddenly begins – as usual with an absolute highlight. This weekend the 75. Tata Steel Chess Tournament will turn the small fishing hamlet Wijk aan Zee into a veritable Mecca of chess. 39 top grandmasters and talents play in the three invitational tournament, and several hundred chess enthusiasts will play in the various open tournaments, turning this event, played in the community hall De Moriaan, into a huge chess festival.

If you do not have the opportunity to pilgrimage to Wijk, you are invited to follow the games live on the playchess.com server – and you will definitely see a lot of top level chess. A large number of first class commentators will analyze and commentate the games: Daniel King, Yasser Seirawan, Maurice Ashley and Lawrence Trent. And it's all free of charge for premium members!

Players at the opening ceremony on Friday

The tournament has three main GM groups, which play round robin tournaments (each competitor plays in turn against every other in the same group). All three groups have 14 players each and start on January 12th. All rounds begin at 13.30 hours (you can check your local time here), except for the last round on January 27th, which begins at 12.00 hours. There are rest days: on January 16th, 21st, and 24th.

January 2013
  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 30        

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.

Schedule of Grandmaster Group A

Of course, Magnus Carlsen is top favorite to win the tournament. The World's Number One was in excellent form at the Chess Classic in London, not only winning the tournament but also setting a new Elo record of 2861. However, things in Wijk have never been easy for the Norwegian and in 2011 and 2010 he did not win the tournament but had to concede first place to Hikaru Nakamura and Levon Aronian.

A lot of people will also be curious to see how the recently dethroned former Women's World Champion Yifan Hou, who gives her debut in the A-tournament, will perform in Wijk.

Group A: Round 1 - Saturday January 12
Levon Aronian - Loek van Wely  
Magnus Carlsen - Fabiano Caruana  
Pentala Harikrishna - Anish Giri  
Vishy Anand - Hikaru Nakamura  
Ivan Sokolov - Wang Hao  
Peter Leko - Erwin L'Ami  
Sergey Karjakin - Hou Yifan  
Group A: Round 2 - Sunday January 13
Loek van Wely - Hou Yifan  
Erwin L'Ami - Sergey Karjakin  
Wang Hao - Peter Leko  
Hikaru Nakamura - Ivan Sokolov  
Anish Giri - Vishy Anand  
Fabiano Caruana - Pentala Harikrishna  
Levon Aronian - Magnus Carlsen  
Group A: Round 3 - Monday January 14
Magnus Carlsen - Loek van Wely  
Pentala Harikrishna - Levon Aronian  
Vishy Anand - Fabiano Caruana  
Ivan Sokolov - Anish Giri  
Peter Leko - Hikaru Nakamura  
Sergey Karjakin - Wang Hao  
Hou Yifan - Erwin L'Ami  
Group A: Round 4 - Tuesday January 15
Loek van Wely - Erwin L'Ami  
Wang Hao - Hou Yifan  
Hikaru Nakamura - Sergey Karjakin  
Anish Giri - Peter Leko  
Fabiano Caruana - Ivan Sokolov  
Levon Aronian - Vishy Anand  
Magnus Carlsen - Pentala Harikrishna  
Wednesday, January 16 – Free day
Group A: Round 5 - Thursday January 17
Pentala Harikrishna - Loek van Wely  
Vishy Anand - Magnus Carlsen  
Ivan Sokolov - Levon Aronian  
Peter Leko - Fabiano Caruana  
Sergey Karjakin - Anish Giri  
Hou Yifan - Hikaru Nakamura  
Erwin L'Ami - Wang Hao  
Group A: Round 6 - Friday January 18
Loek van Wely - Wang Hao  
Hikaru Nakamura - Erwin L'Ami  
Anish Giri - Hou Yifan  
Fabiano Caruana - Sergey Karjakin  
Levon Aronian - Peter Leko  
Magnus Carlsen - Ivan Sokolov  
Pentala Harikrishna - Vishy Anand  
Group A: Round 7 - Saturday January 19
Vishy Anand - Loek van Wely  
Ivan Sokolov - Pentala Harikrishna  
Peter Leko - Magnus Carlsen  
Sergey Karjakin - Levon Aronian  
Hou Yifan - Fabiano Caruana  
Erwin L'Ami - Anish Giri  
Wang Hao - Hikaru Nakamura  
Group A: Round 8 - Sunday January 20
Loek van Wely - Hikaru Nakamura  
Anish Giri - Wang Hao  
Fabiano Caruana - Erwin L'Ami  
Levon Aronian - Hou Yifan  
Magnus Carlsen - Sergey Karjakin  
Pentala Harikrishna - Peter Leko  
Vishy Anand - Ivan Sokolov  
Monday, January 21 – Free day
Group A: Round 9 - Tuesday January 22
Ivan Sokolov - Loek van Wely  
Peter Leko - Vishy Anand  
Sergey Karjakin - Pentala Harikrishna  
Hou Yifan - Magnus Carlsen  
Erwin L'Ami - Levon Aronian  
Wang Hao - Fabiano Caruana  
Hikaru Nakamura - Anish Giri  
Group A: Round 10 - Wednesday January 23
Loek van Wely - Anish Giri  
Fabiano Caruana - Hikaru Nakamura  
Levon Aronian - Wang Hao  
Magnus Carlsen - Erwin L'Ami  
Pentala Harikrishna - Hou Yifan  
Vishy Anand - Sergey Karjakin  
Ivan Sokolov - Peter Leko  
Thursday, January 24 – Free day
Group A: Round 11 - Friday January 25
Peter Leko - Loek van Wely  
Sergey Karjakin - Ivan Sokolov  
Hou Yifan - Vishy Anand  
Erwin L'Ami - Pentala Harikrishna  
Wang Hao - Magnus Carlsen  
Hikaru Nakamura - Levon Aronian  
Anish Giri - Fabiano Caruana  
Group A: Round 12 - Saturday January 26
Loek van Wely - Fabiano Caruana  
Levon Aronian - Anish Giri  
Magnus Carlsen - Hikaru Nakamura  
Pentala Harikrishna - Wang Hao  
Vishy Anand - Erwin L'Ami  
Ivan Sokolov - Hou Yifan  
Peter Leko - Sergey Karjakin  
Group A: Round 13 - Sunday January 27
Sergey Karjakin - Loek van Wely  
Hou Yifan - Peter Leko  
Erwin L'Ami - Ivan Sokolov  
Wang Hao - Vishy Anand  
Hikaru Nakamura - Pentala Harikrishna  
Anish Giri - Magnus Carlsen  
Fabiano Caruana - Levon Aronian  

Schedule of Grandmaster Group B

German chess fans will be glad about the participation of Arkadij Naiditsch who is also the top seed in group B. His closest rivals are Sergei Movsesian and Romain Edouard. Robin van Kampen represents the Dutch juniors, Richard Rapport the international young talents, while Jan Timman appears as chess legend. However, it comes as a slight surprise that this year no woman are taking part in the B-tournament.

Group B: Round 1 - Saturday January 12
Richard Rapport - Robin van Kampen  
Romain Edouard - Pedrag Nikolic  
Sipke Ernst - Jan Timman  
Sergei Movsesian - Arkadij Naiditsch  
Sergey Tiviakov - Alexander Ipatov  
Maxim Turov - Nils Grandelius  
Daniil Dubov - Jan Smeets  
Group B: Round 2 - Sunday January 13
Robin van Kampen - Jan Smeets  
Nils Grandelius - Daniil Dubov  
Alexander Ipatov - Maxim Turov  
Arkadij Naiditsch - Sergey Tiviakov  
Jan Timman - Sergei Movsesian  
Pedrag Nikolic - Sipke Ernst  
Richard Rapport - Romain Edouard  
Group B: Round 3 - Monday January 14
Romain Edouard - Robin van Kampen  
Sipke Ernst - Richard Rapport  
Sergei Movsesian - Pedrag Nikolic  
Sergey Tiviakov - Jan Timman  
Maxim Turov - Arkadij Naiditsch  
Daniil Dubov - Alexander Ipatov  
Jan Smeets - Nils Grandelius  
Group B: Round 4 - Tuesday January 15
Robin van Kampen - Nils Grandelius  
Alexander Ipatov - Jan Smeets  
Arkadij Naiditsch - Daniil Dubov  
Jan Timman - Maxim Turov  
Pedrag Nikolic - Sergey Tiviakov  
Richard Rapport - Sergei Movsesian  
Romain Edouard - Sipke Ernst  
Wednesday, January 16 – Free day
Group B: Round 5 - Thursday January 17
Sipke Ernst - Robin van Kampen  
Sergei Movsesian - Romain Edouard  
Sergey Tiviakov - Richard Rapport  
Maxim Turov - Pedrag Nikolic  
Daniil Dubov - Jan Timman  
Jan Smeets - Arkadij Naiditsch  
Nils Grandelius - Alexander Ipatov  
Group B: Round 6 - Friday January 18
Robin van Kampen - Alexander Ipatov  
Arkadij Naiditsch - Nils Grandelius  
Jan Timman - Jan Smeets  
Pedrag Nikolic - Daniil Dubov  
Richard Rapport - Maxim Turov  
Romain Edouard - Sergey Tiviakov  
Sipke Ernst - Sergei Movsesian  
Group B: Round 7 - Saturday January 19
Sergei Movsesian - Robin van Kampen  
Sergey Tiviakov - Sipke Ernst  
Maxim Turov - Romain Edouard  
Daniil Dubov - Richard Rapport  
Jan Smeets - Pedrag Nikolic  
Nils Grandelius - Jan Timman  
Alexander Ipatov - Arkadij Naiditsch  
Group B: Round 8 - Sunday January 20
Robin van Kampen - Arkadij Naiditsch  
Jan Timman - Alexander Ipatov  
Pedrag Nikolic - Nils Grandelius  
Richard Rapport - Jan Smeets  
Romain Edouard - Daniil Dubov  
Sipke Ernst - Maxim Turov  
Sergei Movsesian - Sergey Tiviakov  
Monday, January 21 – Free day
Group B: Round 9 - Tuesday January 22
Sergey Tiviakov - Robin van Kampen  
Maxim Turov - Sergei Movsesian  
Daniil Dubov - Sipke Ernst  
Jan Smeets - Romain Edouard  
Nils Grandelius - Richard Rapport  
Alexander Ipatov - Pedrag Nikolic  
Arkadij Naiditsch - Jan Timman  
Group B: Round 10 - Wednesday January 23
Robin van Kampen - Jan Timman  
Pedrag Nikolic - Arkadij Naiditsch  
Richard Rapport - Alexander Ipatov  
Romain Edouard - Nils Grandelius  
Sipke Ernst - Jan Smeets  
Sergei Movsesian - Daniil Dubov  
Sergey Tiviakov - Maxim Turov  
Thursday, January 24 – Free day
Group B: Round 11 - Friday January 25
Maxim Turov - Robin van Kampen  
Daniil Dubov - Sergey Tiviakov  
Jan Smeets - Sergei Movsesian  
Nils Grandelius - Sipke Ernst  
Alexander Ipatov - Romain Edouard  
Arkadij Naiditsch - Richard Rapport  
Jan Timman - Pedrag Nikolic  
Group B: Round 12 - Saturday January 26
Robin van Kampen - Pedrag Nikolic  
Richard Rapport - Jan Timman  
Romain Edouard - Arkadij Naiditsch  
Sipke Ernst - Alexander Ipatov  
Sergei Movsesian - Nils Grandelius  
Sergey Tiviakov - Jan Smeets  
Maxim Turov - Daniil Dubov  
Group B: Round 13 - Sunday January 27
Daniil Dubov - Robin van Kampen  
Jan Smeets - Maxim Turov  
Nils Grandelius - Sergey Tiviakov  
Alexander Ipatov - Sergei Movsesian  
Arkadij Naiditsch - Sipke Ernst  
Jan Timman - Romain Edouard  
Pedrag Nikolic - Richard Rapport  

Schedule of Grandmaster Group C

Traditionally, the C-tournament is the place where seasoned grandmasters, veterans and young talents meet. The youngest participant is 14-year old U-18 World Champion Alexandra Goryachkina.

Garry Kasparov honors Alexandra Goryachkina with the gold medal. Vice-World
Champion Lisa Schut (middle) is also Playing in the C-tournament.

Group C: Round 1 - Saturday January 12
Fernando Peralta - Alexandra Goryachkina  
Robin Swinkels - Alexander Kovchan  
Sabino Brunello - David Klein  
Lisa Schut - Miguoel Admiraal  
Igor Bitensky - Oleg Romanishin  
Krikor Mekhitarian - Twan Burg  
Hjorvar Gretarsson - Mark van der Werf  
Group C: Round 2 - Sunday January 13
Alexandra Goryachkina - Mark van der Werf  
Twan Burg - Hjorvar Gretarsson  
Oleg Romanishin - Krikor Mekhitarian  
Miguoel Admiraal - Igor Bitensky  
David Klein - Lisa Schut  
Alexander Kovchan - Sabino Brunello  
Fernando Peralta - Robin Swinkels  
Group C: Round 3 - Monday January 14
Robin Swinkels - Alexandra Goryachkina  
Sabino Brunello - Fernando Peralta  
Lisa Schut - Alexander Kovchan  
Igor Bitensky - David Klein  
Krikor Mekhitarian - Miguoel Admiraal  
Hjorvar Gretarsson - Oleg Romanishin  
Mark van der Werf - Twan Burg  
Group C: Round 4 - Tuesday January 15
Alexandra Goryachkina - Twan Burg  
Oleg Romanishin - Mark van der Werf  
Miguoel Admiraal - Hjorvar Gretarsson  
David Klein - Krikor Mekhitarian  
Alexander Kovchan - Igor Bitensky  
Fernando Peralta - Lisa Schut  
Robin Swinkels - Sabino Brunello  
Wednesday, January 16 – Free day
Group C: Round 5 - Thursday January 17
Sabino Brunello - Alexandra Goryachkina  
Lisa Schut - Robin Swinkels  
Igor Bitensky - Fernando Peralta  
Krikor Mekhitarian - Alexander Kovchan  
Hjorvar Gretarsson - David Klein  
Mark van der Werf - Miguoel Admiraal  
Twan Burg - Oleg Romanishin  
Group C: Round 6 - Friday January 21sr
Alexandra Goryachkina - Miguoel Admiraal  
David Klein - Oleg Romanishin  
Alexander Kovchan - Twan Burg  
Fernando Peralta - Mark van der Werf  
Robin Swinkels - Hjorvar Gretarsson  
Sabino Brunello - Krikor Mekhitarian  
Lisa Schut - Igor Bitensky  
Group C: Round 7 - Saturday January 19
Lisa Schut - Alexandra Goryachkina  
Igor Bitensky - Sabino Brunello  
Krikor Mekhitarian - Robin Swinkels  
Hjorvar Gretarsson - Fernando Peralta  
Mark van der Werf - Alexander Kovchan  
Twan Burg - David Klein  
Oleg Romanishin - Miguoel Admiraal  
Group C: Round 8 - Sunday January 20
Alexandra Goryachkina - David Klein  
Alexander Kovchan - Miguoel Admiraal  
Fernando Peralta - Oleg Romanishin  
Robin Swinkels - Twan Burg  
Sabino Brunello - Mark van der Werf  
Lisa Schut - Hjorvar Gretarsson  
Igor Bitensky - Krikor Mekhitarian  
Monday, January 21 – Free day
Group C: Round 9 - Tuesday January 22
Igor Bitensky - Alexandra Goryachkina  
Krikor Mekhitarian - Lisa Schut  
Hjorvar Gretarsson - Sabino Brunello  
Mark van der Werf - Robin Swinkels  
Twan Burg - Fernando Peralta  
Oleg Romanishin - Alexander Kovchan  
Miguoel Admiraal - David Klein  
Group C: Round 10 - Wednesday January 23
Alexandra Goryachkina - David Klein  
Alexander Kovchan - Miguoel Admiraal  
Fernando Peralta - Oleg Romanishin  
Robin Swinkels - Twan Burg  
Sabino Brunello - Mark van der Werf  
Lisa Schut - Hjorvar Gretarsson  
Igor Bitensky - Krikor Mekhitarian  
Thursday, January 24 – Free day
Group C: Round 11 - Friday January 25
Krikor Mekhitarian - Alexandra Goryachkina  
Hjorvar Gretarsson - Igor Bitensky  
Mark van der Werf - Lisa Schut  
Twan Burg - Sabino Brunello  
Oleg Romanishin - Robin Swinkels  
Miguoel Admiraal - Fernando Peralta  
David Klein - Alexander Kovchan  
Group C: Round 12 - Saturday January 26
Alexandra Goryachkina - Alexander Kovchan  
Fernando Peralta - David Klein  
Robin Swinkels - Miguoel Admiraal  
Sabino Brunello - Oleg Romanishin  
Lisa Schut - Twan Burg  
Igor Bitensky - Mark van der Werf  
Krikor Mekhitarian - Hjorvar Gretarsson  
Group C: Round 13 - Sunday January 27
Hjorvar Gretarsson - Alexandra Goryachkina  
Mark van der Werf - Krikor Mekhitarian  
Twan Burg - Igor Bitensky  
Oleg Romanishin - Lisa Schut  
Miguoel Admiraal - Sabino Brunello  
David Klein - Robin Swinkels  
Alexander Kovchan - Fernando Peralta  

Commentators on the Playchess Server

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.

12.01.2012 Round 1 Daniel King   20.01.2012 Round 8 Lawrence Trent
13.01.2012 Round 2 Maurice Ashley   21.01.2012 Free day  
14.01.2012 Round 3 Yasser Seirawan   22.01.2012 Round 9 Yasser Seirawan
15.01.2012 Round 4 Daniel King   23.01.2012 Round 10 Daniel King
16.01.2012 Free day     24.01.2012 Free day  
17.01.2012 Round 5 Daniel King   25.01.2012 Round 11 Yasser Seirawan
18.01.2012 Round 6 Maurice Ashley   26.01.2012 Round 12 Yasser Seirawan
19.01.2012 Round 7 Lawrence Trent   27.01.2012 Round 13 Daniel King

GM Daniel King analyzes Aronian-Nakamura in his round one wrap-up in 2012

Our commentators as authors

Maurice Ashley

US-Grandmaster Maurice Ashley has a unique way to combine chess and entertainment. He has the knack to make chess training light and easy – and yet to teach a lot. In the third volume of his small series "What Grandmasters Don't See" Ashley summarizes how to learn from mistakes others made, and inspires independent thinking with a number of tests.


Yasser Seirawan

Yasser Seirawan is a master story teller. In his prime he also belonged to the chess world's elite and stood up to the very best. On this DVD the US Grandmaster presents a selection of his best games while telling a number of entertaining stories.


Lawrence Trent

On this DVD the International Master Lawrence Trent shows the most important games of the Smith-Morra gambit (1.e4 c5 2.d4) in his entertaining fresh-faced fashion. With the Smith-Morra gambit White forces Black right from the start to defend while White has the initiative and calls the shots.


Daniel King

With his Powerplay series, the 17. volume of which just appeared, the English grandmaster set a high standard. In this series King presented various chess topics and the basic techniques, motives, and ideas connected to them in an easy and entertaining way. As King is fluent in German, his DVDs appear both in English and German.


Karsten Müller

With a huge number of publications, books and DVDs about the endgame, Karsten Müller can be considered to be the legitimate successor of endgame "guru" Yury Averbakh. Seeing Karsten talk about endgames you quickly realize: the grandmaster from Hamburg loves the subject and infects his audience with his enthusiam.


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