Tata Steel Tournament: Impressions from Wijk aan Zee

by ChessBase
1/18/2013 – Our Spanish language news editor Nadja Wittmann, who lives in Den Haag, Holland, took the train to Wijk aan Zee – in spite of ten inches of snow. Alina L'Ami is in Wijk for the entire event, assisting her husband Erwin. Both have sent us pictorial impressions. In addition we bring you some tactical highlights from the B and C section, while Andrew Martin attempts to explain why Carlsen wins.

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75. Tata Steel Chess Tournament

January 2013
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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 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. 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.

Impressions from Wijk

This was the somewhat daunting situation in Den Haag as Nadja Wittmann prepared
to mount her bike for the trip to the station (the Dutch are bicycle people)

The station thankfully clear of ice and snow

But the bus on the final stretch has to brave the weather

At last Nadja arrives at her destination

Scroll to the right for a full panoramic view of Wijk aan Zee in the winter – on the left is Hotel Zeeduin

The Fletcher Hotel Restaurant Zeeduin is where most of the top players are staying

The De Moriaan Center where the Tata Steel tournament is being held

The giant Open Tournament which attracts hundreds of participants

The top boards of the Open, with the three main GM groups in the background

Scroll to the right for a full view of GM groups in action (our camera-based panorama software has cut
off part of an ambulatory player in order to display the face of a player, Nakamura, behind him)

You can see the moves of the top games on giant flatscreen panels

World Champion Vishy Anand during his round four game against Levon Aronian

Yes, there's a player – or maybe two – that Jan Timman can look up to...

On the beach there are still some kite sailors surfing in the permanently stiff breeze

Industry, and especiall the steel mill, dominate the landscape in Wijk

As dusk descends one is treated to a legendary sunset on the Atlantic coast

The colours become more intense as the evening (actually: late afternoon) progresses

... and end in a truly spectacular display that has made Wijk aan Zee famous

Our photographers Nadja Wittmann and Alina L'Ami on duty in Wijk

Results of the B and C groups

We have somewhat neglected the two lower groups in our reports of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament, even though they are full of GMs and interesting young talents. Here are the current standings after the first five rounds.

In the B Group 16-year-old Richárd Rapport is dominating, with 4.5/5 points and a 3014 performance. Before anyone starts to voice suspicion we would like to remind you that Richárd has a FIDE rating of 2621, and that we already drew attention to this extraordinary talent three years ago. It does not come as a total surprise to us that he is doing so well in Wijk.

Even Magnus and Co. are interested in the games of the B Section

Standings in the C Group

Here are some entertaining tactical highlights from the games of the B and C groups. Click on the diagram in the notation to jump to the critical position. Note that you can download the PGN file our Javascript player is showing and load it with Fritz (or Rybka, or Houdini) and analyse the positions marked as diagrams. It is quite a lot of fun, really, and we urge you to try it.

Andrew Martin: Why Carlsen wins

Magnus Carlsen brings to the table an intimidation factor – many players seem to be lost, psychologically, before they even sit down against him. So why does he win and how does he win? In this video Andrew Martin addresses this intriguing question.

Commentary schedule

There is 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. Commentary begins at approx. 3 p.m. and lasts 2 to 2½ hours, with breaks in between. A round-up show is provided at 8 PM server time. Commentary is available, by the following experts:

18.01.2012 Round 6 Maurice Ashley
19.01.2012 Round 7 Lawrence Trent
20.01.2012 Round 8 Lawrence Trent
21.01.2012 Free day  
22.01.2012 Round 9 Yasser Seirawan
23.01.2012 Round 10 Daniel King
24.01.2012 Free day  
25.01.2012 Round 11 Yasser Seirawan
26.01.2012 Round 12 Yasser Seirawan
27.01.2012 Round 13 Daniel King


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.

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