Carlsen, Caruana Top Field Of 2021 Tata Steel Chess Tournament


The 83rd Tata Steel Chess tournament will have GM Magnus Carlsen and GM Fabiano Caruana once again. The top two players in the world are the favorites in a young field of participants that includes five players from the world’s top 10.

Carlsen will be playing in Wijk aan Zee for the 17th time. He won the Grandmaster Group C when he was 13 in his first year in 2004 and has won the main tournament a record seven times. As for Caruana, he is the defending champion.

The field has three more players from the world’s top 10: the two leaders of the FIDE Candidates tournament, GM Ian Nepomniachtchi and GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, as well as GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

Furthermore, the Wijk aan Zee tournament adheres to its usual policy of selecting a mixed field of players with different styles, backgrounds, and ages. In fact, the average age this year is low: 24.5.

2021 Tata Steel Chess tournament | Participants
















# Fed Name Rating Rank Age
1 Magnus Carlsen 2862 1 30
2 Fabiano Caruana 2823 2 28
3 Ian Nepomniachtchi 2784 4 30
4 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2784 5 30
5 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2770 8 35
6 Anish Giri 2764 11 26
7 Alireza Firouzja 2749 18 17
8 Jan-Krzysztof Duda 2743 19 22
9 Daniil Dubov 2702 37 24
10 Andrey Esipenko 2686 49 18
11 David Anton Guijarro 2675 60 25
12 Jorden van Foreest 2671 66 21
13 Nodirbek Abdusattorov 2627 152 16
14 Aryan Tari 2618 184 21


The field was announced on a live stream.

Tournament director Jeroen van den Berg expects exciting games, saying: “One reason is that most of the grandmasters have hardly played classical chess since the outbreak of COVID-19. Participating in the world’s most challenging classical chess tournament with 13 rounds will thus prove to be very challenging and could lead to surprising outcomes.”

Only a few days ago the 83rd edition of the tournament in Wijk aan Zee was confirmed. There will be other online activities, but due to restrictions related to the pandemic, the Masters’ tournament is the only event that will be held on-site.

The tournament getting the green light received a positive response worldwide. Van den Berg:

“The flood of congratulations and positive reactions I have received from people all over the world after the announcement is proof of how special it is that the Tata Steel Chess tournament will really be played in Wijk aan Zee in these times.”

Unlike at the Norway Chess tournament in October, the players do not have to arrive in the Netherlands 10 days early for their quarantine period. Because the tournament has a special “top sport” status, the players are allowed to perform their sport while finishing their quarantine. They do have to deliver a negative test result for COVID-19 that is not older than 48 hours from their country of origin.

For playing conditions, the Tata Steel organizers will follow the model of Norway Chess, meaning that there will be no plexiglass placed over the board, and face masks won’t be mandatory during play. Instead, the tables will be a bit wider to provide more distance between opponents, and the distance between the tables will be increased as well.

The 83rd Tata Steel Chess tournament will take place January 15-31, 2021 in De Moriaan in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands. Chess.com will once again produce the live broadcast.


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