Tata Steel Festival ushers in 2017
he Tata Steel Festival, which ushers in the major chess calendar for the New Year, gets underway Jan. 14-29 in the Dutch coastal town of Wijk aan Zee.
The 79th edition will as usual be played in a single round robin, classical time control format, with the traditional 14-player, main event to be spearheaded by Norwegian world champion Magnus Carlsen and world blitz champion Sergey Kariakin of Russia.
Other big names this year included 2016 chess player of the year Wesley So (USA), ranked fourth in the world, No. 9 Levon Aronian of Armenia, No. 10 Anish Giri of the host country, No. 11 Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia and No. 12 Pentala Harikrishna of India.
Completing the formidable cast were super GMs Pavel Eljanov (Ukraine), Polish Radoslav Wojtaszek, Russian Dmitry Andreikin, Indian Baskaran Adhiban local bet Loek van Wely and talented youngsters Wei Yi (China) and Richard Rapport of Hungary.
Speaking of Yi and Rapport, the world’s highest-rated juniors (under-20), had a four-game match on Dec. 20-23 in Yancheng, China. The classical games ended in a 2-2 tie, but the Hungarian prevailed, 2-1, in the blitz tiebreak.