2021 Tata Steel Chess (Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands)

The 2021 Tata Steel Chess Tournament is on…
top-level OTB chess resumes

The year 2020 was a very challenging one for everyone including those of us in the chess world. On the bright side, chess received a boon as a result of a surge in online activity and the popularization of live streaming on various platforms. Live streamers have led the charge in this “movement” and has been helping with the chess outreach along with the sensation of the series, “Queen’s Gambit.”

Considering all of the issues surrounding COVID-19, tournament organizers have placed a hold on many over-the-board (OTB) tournaments. In fact, the World Candidates tournament was stopped at the midway point and is expected to resume in the spring of 2021.

However, Wijk ann Zee health officials had made an announcement to allow the 14-player event. Most COVID regulations will be in effect, but face masks will be optional. The tournament begins January 15th and will last until January 31st.

The field will be strong with four of the top five players in the world including world champion Magnus Carlsen and world number two, Fabiano Caruana, last year’s winner. There is also a lot of young talent with Alireza Firoujza returning in a diverse field. Many in the top half of the field are veterans of the tournament, while the lower half is comprised of rising talents. Below Anish Giri gives an assessment of each player. There will be no Challengers section this year. The organizers released a statement in which contained the excerpt:

Unfortunately, the current conditions to organise an approved sports event, do not allow for either the Tata Steel Challengers nor the amateur players to take part in the event. Equally attendance by public will be regulated by the reigning COVID-19 regulations at the time of the tournament and will need to be confirmed at a later stage. (link)

2021 Tata Steel Tournament
January 15th-31st, 2021 (Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands)
Masters
#
Name
Title
Federation
Flag
Rating
1 Carlsen, Magnus GM Norway
2862
2 Caruana, Fabiano GM USA
2823
3 Nepomniachtchi, Ian GM Russia
2784
4 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime GM France
2784
5 Giri, Anish GM Netherlands
2764
6 Firouzja, Alireza GM FIDE
2749
7 Duda, Jan-Krzysztof GM Poland
2749
8 Harikrishna, Pentala GM India
2732
9 Dubov, Danil GM Russia
2702
10 Esipenko, Andrey GM Russia
2686
11 Guijarro, David Anton GM Spain
2675
12 Van Foreest, Jorden GM Netherlands
2671
13 Abdusattorov, Nodirbek GM Kazakhstan
2627
14 Tari, Aryan GM Norway
2618
Official Site

Official Site: https://www.tatasteelchess.com/
Schedule: Masters
Videos: (YouTube)

Daaim Shabazz

Dr. Daaim Shabazz is the creator and webmaster of The Chess Drum. He serves as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds an MBA in Marketing and a doctorate in International Affairs & Development. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

17 Comments

  1. Round 1 – Saturday, 16th January 2021

    MASTERS

    Carlsen, Magnus 1-0 Firouzja, Alireza QGD 5.Bf4
    Giri, Anish 1-0 Tari, Aryan Ruy Lopez Berlin
    Grandelius, Nils 1-0 Donchenko, Alexander Giuoco Piano
    Caruana, Fabiano ½-½ Van Foreest, Jorden Tarrasch Defence
    Harikrishna, Pentala ½-½ Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime Sicilian Najdorf
    Wojtaszek, Radoslaw ½-½ Anton Guijarro, David Queen’s Gambit Ragozin
    Esipenko, Andrey ½-½ Duda, Jan-Krzysztof Petroff’s Defense

    Video by GM Daniel King

    Video by chess24

  2. Round 2 – Sunday, 17th January 2021

    MASTERS

    Van Foreest, Jorden ½-½ Giri, Anish Petroff Defense
    Anton Guijarro, David ½-½ Carlsen, Magnus Sicilian Accelerated Dragon
    Harikrishna, Pentala ½-½ Esipenko, Andrey Caro Kann Advanced
    Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime ½-½ Firouzja, Alireza Caro Kann Advanced
    Duda, Jan-Krzysztof 0-1 Grandelius, Nils English Symmetrical
    Tari, Aryan ½-½ Wojtaszek, Radoslaw Sicilian Rossolimo
    Donchenko, Alexander 0-1 Caruana, Fabiano Slav Defense

    Video by GM Daniel King

    Video by chess24

  3. Round 3 – Monday, 18th January 2021
    MASTERS

    Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ Tari, Aryan Semi-Tarrasch Defense
    Caruana, Fabiano ½-½ Duda, Jan-Krzysztof Petroff Defense
    Giri, Anish ½-½ Donchenko, Alexander Nimzo Indian
    Grandelius, Nils 0-1 Harikrishna, Pentala French Advance
    Esipenko, Andrey ½-½ Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime Sicilian 4.Qxd4
    Firouzja, Alireza 1-0 Anton Guijarro, David London System
    Wojtaszek, Radoslaw ½-½ Van Foreest, Jorden Semi-Tarrasch Defence

    Video by GM Daniel King

    Video by chess24

  4. Round 4 – Tuesday, 19th January 2021
    MASTERS

    Harikrishna, Pentala ½-½ Caruana, Fabiano Ruy Lopez Moeller Defense
    Van Foreest, Jorden ½-½ Carlsen, Magnus Ruy Lopez Moeller Defense
    Esipenko, Andrey ½-½ Grandelius, Nils Sicilian Najdorf with 6.Be2
    Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime ½-½ Anton Guijarro, David Ruy Lopez Marshall
    Duda, Jan-Krzysztof ½-½ Giri, Anish Gruenfeld Botvinnik
    Tari, Aryan ½-½ Firouzja, Alireza Caro Kann Advanced
    Donchenko, Alexander ½-½ Wojtaszek, Radoslaw Sicilian Najdorf

    Video by GM Daniel King

    Video by chess24

  5. Round 5 – Thursday, 21st January 2021
    MASTERS

    Grandelius, Nils 1-0 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime Sicilian Najdorf
    Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ Donchenko, Alexander Sicilian Najdorf
    Caruana, Fabiano ½-½ Esipenko, Andrey English Four Knights
    Giri, Anish ½-½ Harikrishna, Pentala QGA
    Firouzja, Alireza ½-½ Van Foreest, Jorden Queen’s Pawn Game
    Wojtaszek, Radoslaw ½-½ Duda, Jan-Krzysztof Semi-Tarrasch Defense
    Anton Guijarro, David ½-½ Tari, Aryan Ruy Lopez Berlin

    Video by GM Daniel King

    Video by chess24

  6. Round 6 – Friday, 22nd January 2021
    MASTERS

    Grandelius, Nils ½-½ Caruana, Fabiano Sicilian Rossolimo
    Harikrishna, Pentala ½-½ Wojtaszek, Radoslaw QGD Ragozin
    Van Foreest, Jorden 1-0 Anton Guijarro, David Ruy Lopez
    Esipenko, Andrey ½-½ Giri, Anish Anti-Meran
    Duda, Jan-Krzysztof ½-½ Carlsen, Magnus Giuoco Piano
    Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime ½-½ Tari, Aryan Gruenfeld Defense
    Donchenko, Alexander 0-1 Firouzja, Alireza Semi-Slav Defense

    Video by GM Daniel King

    Video by chess24

  7. Round 7 – Saturday, 23rd January 2021
    MASTERS

    Giri, Anish 1-0 Grandelius, Nils Sicilian Najdorf
    Caruana, Fabiano 1-0 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime Sicilian Najdorf
    Firouzja, Alireza 1-0 Duda, Jan-Krzysztof Queen’s Pawn Game
    Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ Harikrishna, Pentala Sicilian Taimanov
    Wojtaszek, Radoslaw 0-1 Esipenko, Andrey Nimzo Indian
    Tari, Aryan 0-1 Van Foreest, Jorden Ruy Lopez
    Anton Guijarro, David ½-½ Donchenko, Alexander Sicilian Closed

    Video by chess24

    Standings: Van Forrest, Giri, Caurana, Firouzja, 4½; Harikrishna, Esipenko, Carlsen, Grandelius, 4; Wojtaszek, 3; Duda, Vachier-Lagrave, Tari, Guijarro, 2½; Donchenko, 2

  8. Round 8 – Sunday, 24th January 2021
    MASTERS

    Esipenko, Andrey 1-0 Carlsen, Magnus Sicilian Scheveningen
    Caruana, Fabiano ½-½ Giri, Anish Trompowsky Attack
    Grandelius, Nils ½-½ Wojtaszek, Radoslaw Caro Kann
    Harikrishna, Pentala 0-1 Firouzja, Alireza Slav Defence
    Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime ½-½ Van Foreest, Jorden Ruy Lopez
    Duda, Jan-Krzysztof ½-½ Anton Guijarro, David Giuoco Piano
    Donchenko, Alexander ½-½ Tari, Aryan Catalan

    Video by chess24

    Standings: Firouzja, 5½; Giri, Esipenko, Van Forrest, Caruana, 5; Grandelius, 4½; Harikrishna, Carlsen, 4; Wojtaszek, 3½; Vachier-Lagrave, Duda, Tari, Guijarro, 3; Donchenko, 2½

  9. Round 9 – Monday, 26th January 2021
    MASTERS

    Giri, Anish 1-0 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime Sicilian Najdorf
    Firouzja, Alireza ½-½ Esipenko, Andrey Queen’s Pawn Game
    Van Foreest, Jorden ½-½ Donchenko, Alexander Ruy Lopez
    Carlsen, Magnus 1-0 Grandelius, Nils Sicilian Najdorf
    Wojtaszek, Radoslaw 0-1 Caruana, Fabiano King’s Indian
    Tari, Aryan ½-½ Duda, Jan-Krzysztof Sicilian Rossolimo
    Anton Guijarro, David ½-½ Harikrishna, Pentala Sicilian Defence

    Video by chess24

    Standings: Giri, Caruana, Firouzja, 6; Esipenko, Van Forrest, 5½; Carlsen, 5; Harikrishna, Grandelius, 4½; Duda, Wojtaszek, Tari, Guijarro, 3½; Vachier-Lagrave, Donchenko, 3

  10. Round 10 – Wednesday, 27th January 2021
    MASTERS

    Giri, Anish 1-0 Wojtaszek, Radoslaw Trompowsky Attack
    Esipenko, Andrey 1-0 Anton Guijarro, David Ruy Lopez
    Caruana, Fabiano ½-½ Carlsen, Magnus Catalan
    Harikrishna, Pentala ½-½ Tari, Aryan Ruy Lopez
    Grandelius, Nils ½-½ Firouzja, Alireza Sicilian Richter-Rauzer
    Duda, Jan-Krzysztof ½-½ Van Foreest, Jorden King’s Indian
    Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 1-0 Donchenko, Alexander Caro Kann

    Video by chess24

    Standings: Giri, 7; Esipenko, Caruana, Firouzja, 6½; Van Forrest, 6; Carlsen, 5½; Harikrishna, Grandelius, 5; Duda, Vachier-Lagrave, Tari, 4; Wojtaszek, Guijarro, 3½; Donchenko, 3

  11. Round 11 – Friday, 29th January 2021
    MASTERS

    Van Foreest, Jorden 1-0 Harikrishna, Pentala Giuoco Piano
    Firouzja, Alireza ½-½ Caruana, Fabiano Giuoco Piano
    Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ Giri, Anish Giuoco Piano
    Tari, Aryan 1-0 Esipenko, Andrey Ruy Lopez
    Wojtaszek, Radoslaw ½-½ Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime Gruenfeld Defense
    Anton Guijarro, David ½-½ Grandelius, Nils Gruenfeld Defense
    Donchenko, Alexander ½-½ Duda, Jan-Krzysztof QGD Exchange

    Video by GM Daniel King

    Video by chess24

    Standings: Giri, 7½; Caruana, Van Forrest, Firouzja, 7; Esipenko, 6½; Carlsen, 6; Grandelius, 5½; Harikrishna, Tari, 5; Duda, Vachier-Lagrave, 4½; Wojtaszek, Guijarro, 4; Donchenko, 3½

  12. Round 12 – Saturday, 30th January 2021
    MASTERS

    Giri, Anish ½-½ Firouzja, Alireza French Defence
    Caruana, Fabiano ½-½ Anton Guijarro, David Queen’s Gambit
    Esipenko, Andrey ½-½ Van Foreest, Jorden Queen’s Pawn Game
    Harikrishna, Pentala 1-0 Donchenko, Alexander Nimzo Indian Defense
    Grandelius, Nils ½-½ Tari, Aryan Giuoco Piano
    Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime ½-½ Duda, Jan-Krzysztof Petroff’s Defense
    Wojtaszek, Radoslaw ½-½ Carlsen, Magnus Queen’s Gambit Anti-Meran

    Video by GM Daniel King

    Video by chess24

    Standings: Giri, 8; Van Forrest, Caruana, Firouzja, 7½; Esipenko, 7; Carlsen, 6½; Harikrishna, Grandelius, 6; Tari, 5½; Duda, Vachier-Lagrave, 5; Wojtaszek, Guijarro, 4½; Donchenko, 3½

  13. Round 13 – Sunday, 31st January 2021
    MASTERS

    Carlsen, Magnus 1-0 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime Grunfeld Defense
    Firouzja, Alireza ½-½ Wojtaszek, Radoslaw Queen’s Pawn Opening
    Anton Guijarro, David ½-½ Giri, Anish Sicilian Najdorf
    Tari, Aryan ½-½ Caruana, Fabiano French Defense
    Van Foreest, Jorden 1-0 Grandelius, Nils Sicilian Najdorf
    Donchenko, Alexander 0-1 Esipenko, Andrey Catalan
    Duda, Jan-Krzysztof ½-½ Harikrishna, Pentala QGD Slav

    Video by GM Daniel King

    Video by chess24

    Standings: Van Forrest, Giri, 8½; Esipenko, Caruana, Firouzja, 8; Carlsen, 7½; Harikrishna, 6½; Grandelius, Tari, 6; Duda, 5½; Guijarro, Wojtaszek, Vachier-Lagrave, 5; Donchenko, 3½

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