Three world champions at Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2024

by Press release
11/23/2023 – Following months of absence after winning his first world title in April 2023, World Champion Ding Liren (China) will make his return to global chess in January at the 86th Tata Steel Chess Tournament in Wijk aan Zee. He is one of the big names in the total field of participants, which consists of fourteen Masters and fourteen Challengers. The Women's World Champion Ju Wenjun (also from China) and Junior World Champion Marc'Andria Maurizzi (France) are also present. Naturally, Anish Giri defends his title. | Photos: Juriaan Hoefsmit

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"It will be another great edition," said Tournament Director Jeroen van den Berg. "Never before have three reigning world champions been present. I am of course very happy with that. And I'm proud that we have four ladies in our tournament. This has never happened before in the current format of the tournament. Ju Wenjun plays in the Masters. Harika Dronavalli and Divya Deshmukh from India and our Dutch talent Eline Roebers will compete in the Challengers."

Of the fourteen participating grandmasters in the Masters, seven are top 20 players. Here Alireza Firouzja and Ian Nepomniachtchi are big crowd pullers, in addition to the aforementioned world champion Ding Liren and defending champion Anish Giri.

Van den Berg: "I am also happy that last year's great talents have really fulfilled their promise. In particular, the Indian players Praggnanandhaa and Gukesh and Abdusattorov from Uzbekistan are storming the top and are once again participating in the Masters. Jorden van Foreest (winner 2021) and Max Warmerdam from the Netherlands are also competing for the title."

Watch the announcement video about the participating Masters here:

Missing Magnus Carlsen
Van den Berg is very enthusiastic about the field of participants, although one important name is missing: Magnus Carlsen. “Unfortunately, Magnus' schedule does not allow him to participate with us this year. He plays several other tournaments in February and that means that he is not at our tournament for the second time in 20 years. We obviously hope to welcome him again in 2025. He really belongs to our tournament and is always welcome.”

The Challengers tournament also has a strong field of players from the top 100 in the world and here too some great talents. “We have five talented competitors here who are under 20 years old, including the aforementioned Junior World Champion Maurizzi, who is only 16 years old. And many chess fans are undoubtedly looking forward to the arrival of Hans Niemann,” said Van den Berg. Niemann rose to global prominence in 2022 due to massive media attention following allegations of alleged foul play. This issue was mutually discussed and resolved by those involved in mid-2023.

About the Tata Steel Chess Tournament:
The Tata Steel Chess Tournament has a long and rich history. The tournament started in 1938 as an employee tournament for the steel producer Royal Hoogovens in Wijk aan Zee in the Netherlands. Since then, it has become one of the most prestigious chess tournaments in the world. The world’s greatest chess players, the emerging top talents as well as keen amateurs, make sure to be part of ‘the Wimbledon of Chess’.

Tata Steel has chosen chess because chess involves strategic thinking and is aimed at finding creative solutions to complex issues. Tata Steel has the same focus. Making steel is a high-tech process with a crucial role for innovation. Tata Steel employees work continuously and tirelessly to find smart solutions to improve processes and products. This way, Tata Steel is able to supply its customers with top products, allowing them to distinguish themselves in their markets. At the same time, Tata Steel contributes to creating a sustainable society with its product and process innovations.