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Monday, October 24, 2011

Tata Steel Chess 2012 strongest ever despite absence of Kramnik, Anand

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hi everyone,

The latest chess news about tournament coming up next year is that the participants of the Tata Steel Chess 2012 have been announced.

Magnus Carlsen, Levon Aronian, Sergey Karjakin and Veselin Topalov are the four highest rated players in the upcoming Tata Steel Chess Tournament. The 74th edition will be held January 13-29, 2012 in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands. Both Vishy Anand and Vladimir Kramnik would not be playing. 

The Grandmaster Group A of the 74th Tata Steel Chess Tournament will have 10 of the top 15 chess players in the world. With an average rating of 2752 the Tata Steel Chess Tournament exceeds the anniversary edition in 2008, when the average rating was 2740. It is also the first time in history that a tournament with 14 participants will have such a strong field.

One player will make his debut in the A group: Vugar Gashimov from Azerbaijan, the current number 10 in the world. Other interesting names are those of Veselin Topalov (who didn't play much after he lost his World Championship Match against Vishy Anand) and Boris Gelfand (the challenger of Anand in the next world title match). The last Tata Steel Chess winner, Hikaru Nakamura from the USA, will be back in Wijk aan Zee as well. The Dutch contribution to the A-group of the tournament consists of 17-year-old Anish Giri and, back from his sabbatical, Loek van Wely.

In the Grandmaster Groups B and C a total of eight women participate. One of them is reigning European Women Champion Viktorija Cmilyte of Latvia. who will play in the B group. The other two female participants in this group are Kateryna Lahno (Ukraine, fifth in the world) and the young Dronavalli Harika (20) from India. Reigning European Champion Vladimir Potkin (Russia) makes his debut in Wijk aan Zee in this group. The organizing committee is pleased that former winner Jan Timman accepted an invitation to play in the B group.

In Grandmaster Group C the young Dutch players Lisa Schut (17) and Anne Haast (18) make their debut. Three other women in this group are Armenian grandmaster Elina Danielian (who lives in Groningen), Elisabeth Paehtz (Germany) and Tania Sachdev (India). Two-time national junior champion Lars Ootes (20) and Daan Brandenburg, who earlier this year gained the grandmaster title, play in 'C' for the first time.

One notable name in the C group is that of Netherlands-based former top player Matthew Sadler. The Englishman, in fact not a professional chess player, never played in Wijk aan Zee before. Recently he scored two impressive tournament victories in Barcelona and Oslo, which brings him back in the world's top 100 in the next rating list.

The 74th Tata Steel Chess Tournament will take place from 13 to 29 January 2012 in, as always, sports complex De Moriaan in Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands. Admission is free. Participants in the amateur groups can register from Monday, October 31, 2011 via the official website.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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