Announcement | January 13, 2011 18:16

Tata starts in two days - all the info

Tata starts in two days - all the infoIt will hardly be news to the readers out here: the 2011 Tata Steel Chess Tournament begins with its first round next Saturday. Yet again the organizers have managed to collect very interesting fields of participants for their Grandmaster Groups A, B and C. We bring you all the info.

The Tata Steel Chess Tournament, formerly known as Corus Chess Tournament, formerly known as Hoogovens Chess Tournament, is held from Friday, January 14th till Sunday, January 30th, 2011. As always, the whole party will take place in the small coastal town of Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands. For the correct pronunciation: [audio:]

Few of the about 2400 inhabitants of Wijk aan Zee will miss the fact that the chess tournament is taking place again. The sudden, and temporary increase in this number of inhabitants generates a welcome economic boost in the otherwise quiet winter season. And the fact that the tournament has been held since 1938 makes it hard for anyone living in Wijk aan Zee not to know about it!

This year will be a bit different than previous years. A new name (Tata), a new logo (blue - in fact it's part of a completely new design style) and a new website: (Somehow the design looks a bit like ours, doesn't it.)

The original company Koninklijke Hoogovens was a Dutch steel producer founded in 1918. In 1999, the company merged with British Steel to create Corus Group steel company. In 2007, Corus Group was purchased by India-based Tata Steel and now, almost four years later, its chess tournament is named after the mother company.

But it looks like almost everything else will stay the same. We'll have the traditional Amateur tournaments starting with the Weekend-three-round event (groups of four play three games on the first weekend, starting on Friday night so before anyone else), then the Weekday-three-round event (similar, starting on Monday), the Nine-round event (the most popular, held during the second week with dozens of groups of ten players playing a round-robin) and the Rapid seven-round Swiss during the second weekend. Registration has finished already; except for the Weekday event everything is full!

The following event overview shows that much more is organized in fact. Naturally we got this from the official site, where they apparently forgot to change Corus into Tata for this one. ;-)

Tata event overview

And, of course, we'll have the three Grandmaster Groups. Again they're three 14-player round-robins. All rounds begin at 13.30 CET, except for the last round on January 30th, which begins at 12.00 hours. There are three rest days: on January 19th, 24th, and 27th. The time control is 100 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 50 minutes for 20 moves, then 15 minutes for the remaining moves with 30 seconds increment for each move starting from the first move.

Yet again the organizers have managed to collect very interesting fields of participants for their Grandmaster Groups A, B and C. Let's have a look at all three.

The Grandmaster Group A has an average rating of 2740 and is a Category 20 event. The organizers got the world's top 4 coming to Wijk aan Zee: Carlsen, Anand, Aronian and Kramnik. And what we already see in this top group is that the organizers always invite a number of players who are known for their interesting chess and fighting spirit. In this category fit players such as Nakamura, Nepomniachtchi and Shirov. Giri qualified from B last year and the other local heros are the two GMs famously born on the same day: Erwin l'Ami and Jan Smeets, both regular seconds of Bulgarian top GM Veselin Topalov. It's his name that's perhaps most missed this year, together with that of Vassily Ivanchuk. [Update: And we should add Sergey Karjakin and Kingloek here...]

Tata Steel Chess 2011 | Participants A Group

Tata Steel Chess 2011 | Participants A Group

The Grandmaster Group B has an average rating of 2659 and is a Category 17 event. It's the youngest group of the three, with only two players born before 1981. It has many rising stars who are on the edge of getting into the group of elite players. Wojtaszek, one of Anand's seconds, won lots of rating points recently and now tops the field at 2726. Other big names include Navara, Efimenko, So, Le Quang Liem and McShane, who have had big successes in their career already. Another Anand second plays in the same group: his compatriot Ganguly. The nestor is Dutch GM Friso Nijboer, while the young Dutch GM Wouter Spoelman will face his biggest ever challenge.

Tata Steel Chess 2011 | Participants B Group

Tata Steel Chess 2011 | Participants B Group

The Grandmaster Group C has an average rating of 2507 and is a Category 11 event. As always, this group has a big number of Dutch IMs who this way get an excellent chance to score a GM norm. The two top favourites, with a rating above 2600, are the relatively unkown grandmasters Kazhgaleyev and Ivanisevic. Much is expected from the talented Darius Swiercz, who qualified via the 2010 Cultural Village tournament together with IM Roeland Pruijssers. And finally we get to see 14-year-old GM elect Ilya Nyzhnyk in Wijk aan Zee!

Tata Steel Chess 2011 | Participants C Group

Tata Steel Chess 2011 | Participants C Group

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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Cheesus's picture


Daaim Shabazz's picture

You make some very good points that are grounded in marketing principles as well. However, I believe that if you have new tournaments, it will take a short time for people to adjust. Thomas makes some good points as well.

Of course "Corus" was a brand of prestige in the chess world. Perhaps "Tata" will gain that recognition one day. It would certainly be a credit to chess. It also help chess stewardship spread around the world.

ozan's picture

yes! that is what I am talking about:)
thanx for your comment Shabazz.
and it is exactly what I am saying: "it will take some time" + novel advertisements, money etc...
chess is loosing because of lack of economical "novilties".
so finally what I can say is: for example, 'corus "tata" tournament' would be more helpful!
@ thomas: sorry, ? was not born at 1938, 1968. so you again need to reconsider "human's life span" in your examples:)

Saji Soman's picture

We should appreciate Tata to sponsor again the tournament in the midst of financial crisis.

Mike's picture

Nobody commented on the nice TATA's wallpaper...So, while global warming put our feet under the water, chess help to subliminally remember people that cooperative and coherent intelligences behind companies like TATA will be now linked to success and world's survival and sustainable progress...I see the BRIC's moving and taking the initiative now...

Sander's picture

Well unlike cricket, football is a sport practised by more than, say, 4 nations.
I mean if you wanna go down that road, we Dutch really kick ass when it comes to korfbal.

Besides I'd say that our national sport, if there is such a thing, is more skating than football, and there too we are by far the strongest nation.

But its undeniable when it comes to sport, India, with about a billion population, is the biggest underachiever of all time. Anand is the only great sportsman. I am sure you have a few good hockeyplayers are good cricketplayers but really , out of 1,000,000,000 people? Time to shape up!

Saji Soman's picture

When dutch cricket team comes to india, we will psycologically kick out from the world.

Saji Soman's picture

Check who is Sachin Tendulker in the world of cricket

S's picture

I'm sure most of you are not serious but isn't this discussion a bit silly? Tata chess tournament is organized by Indians and Dutchmen together, with a great result. No need for petty nationalism of both sides, I'm sure the majority of people have great respect for each others nations and accomplishments but not because of such silly lists.

columbo's picture

are you really the best in skating ??? what kind of skating ???

rajeshv's picture

My guess would be that chances of Kramnik/Aronian winning the tournament are quite low given the upcoming candidates.

Carlsen wd be the clear favorite with Anand seemingly happy to experiment with Berlin as black etc (perhaps to challenge white to come up with a refutation - with an eye on the next WCC?). Well it was different in London since it was a short event.

Of course the field seems quite exciting, so can't rule out surprise winners - though the chances are slim is my guess.

+4 wins?

Lucious's picture

I don't know how some chess fans are still living in a cave. The rest of the world probably doesn't know what the hell corus is except in the netherlands. Corus is like a little bug compared to tata motors. Think their owner Ratan Naval Tata recently donated 50 mil back to harvard or maybe it was another indian comany so to say tata is not a better name commercially is really naive.

Chess fans are going to have to live with new companies like Tata in the near future to help compensate for the lack of sponsors. If anything in this tournament it's stupid that they still have a few 2600 dutch gms in place of other potential 2700s. We can assume giri is already 2700 strength and he deserves it but to play smeets and 'ami it's a joke and cheapens the group. Atleast invite some really interesting players like Ivanchuk and Caruna.

Sander's picture

Because the other players arent interesting enough....

I partly agree that with you about the number of domestic players, for me, as a Dutch citizen, it doesnt make it more interesting but, although they may have a foreign sponsor, its still a Dutch tournament, and the organizers have the right to ask a few domestic players.

Thomas's picture

Ivanchuk and Caruana are actually playing in Gibraltar, together with many other interesting names: e.g. eight of the women's top10, youngsters Richard Rapport and Ray Robson, oldie Nigel Short and super-oldie Victor Korchnoi.
As to the Dutch participants: while Tata is the main sponsor, there are still numerous Dutch subsponsors ... .

Sergio's picture

Football isn't a sport there. Cricket is. And India has been world champion in their national sport, which is something we can't see of The Netherlands.

Saji Soman's picture

Even somali has a footbal team.

arkan's picture

Also it's one of the most beautiful countries i have ever visited ;p

Marcel's picture

This is a chess site. Not an Indian nationalist spam site.

Saji Soman's picture

Now You are irritated but when somebody indirectly questioned the capability of indian company Tata's to conduct this tournament it is a natural response from a true indian. All the facts 100% correct. You better go and check the site of TATA who is having 300 years of business history.

Sergio's picture

I think there won't be much change in organisation. Only the looks will change. I think it will be still organised by the same people like every year. The only difference is now the name and the logo.

Thomas's picture

On your post, I moved and clicked my mouse four times with my eyes closed until there was a "result" which turned out to be thumb down :) but actually I agree with you ...

Reality check's picture

Congratulations! If you have influence please ask the new
Organisers to go back to the old Time-Control. Let TATA know
tournament results are often used to guage the relative strength of
the players and it beomes more and more difficult with each passing
contest to say who really won, who is really the best, because the
time-controls or the scoring system or something constantly

Sergio's picture

I am looking forward to it. I might go to have a look there for 1 or 2 days. And ofcourse i gonna follow the internet coverage. I am hoping for lots of great chessvibes video's.

choufleur's picture

these thumb up thumb down game is completely silly
I do this randomly without reading anything
What kind of value does this have ?

suleiman's picture

I will be rooting for Nepo! I think he bears a great potential to pull a big surprise in this tournament. Go Nepo!

Sander's picture

Yeah least we Dutch have a good football team, hows yours doing? :)

Sander's picture

Yes it does, literally it means Wijk at Sea or if u wanna get really literal; Neighbourhood at Sea.

Arne Moll's picture

Actually Wijk means something else in this case. See

Sander's picture

Smartass ;)

DMiA's picture

Go Shirov goooooo !!!

John O's picture


Johnny's picture

If India is so great then why did its best and brightest residents move to U.S.A. to be doctors and NASA scientists? (PS, please don't answer because this is a chess site. It's a rhetorical question.) Thanks.

Saji Soman's picture

Our aim is to export brains to even your country not USA alone.

Marcel's picture
Septimus's picture

Does Zee mean Sea in Dutch?

Simon's picture

Ok As the author seems completely prejudiced against our fellow countrymen and takes pleasure in voluntarily ignoring them, let me REJOICE as

Maxime Vachier Lagrave, our n°2 is finally part of group A!
He is a fantastic player (see some of his games like the one recently in Hoogeven against Shirov, or the famous one from Bien against Morozevitch)

who was being ignored year after year...

And yes he's better that any Dutch player...


Looking forward that great tournament


Also our champ Laurent Fressinet is playing in the B group.

Randowan's picture

The dumbest posting I've seen in a looong time

Coco Loco's picture

There is a new MTD (Microsoft Testing Director) of Windows 2000?
And he's Indian?
About time, I'd say!

Thomas's picture

What's in a name? The tournament was known as "Hoogovens" from 1938-1999, initially in nearby Beverwijk, moving to Wijk aan Zee in 1968 (the year after I was born ...). It became Corus in 2000, maybe it took one or a few years for people to get used to the new name, eventually it happened. It becomes Tata in 2011, so what?

Omniscient's picture

Jesus was Indian too, as far as I know.

Sergio's picture

All bible figures are, except god. What Indian doesn't work at sunday ;)

Omniscient's picture

Thanks, important information. Someone told me that Satan was from Mongolia, Dubai or Ireland, but this whistle-blower (guy called "Lucifer") must have lied.

ozan's picture

Yes, of course we are glad that we still have sponsors on these great events.
But it is not about crying:
If I buy Burger King I would not change the name to something else. Because the name which is "traditional" also make profit!
So people who hears Tata without investigating what is in it, would not pay that much attention as some chess lover interested in Corus, Linares etc.. So you will need to make people hear your new name! This means much effort and money.
Economy theory involves in this complain!

cees's picture

I can imagine why you talk about crying when reading the name Tata. It refers to me as the first sounds of a baby.

max's picture

Just fyi. Tata rhymes with mama papa gaga rah-rah.

max's picture

Just fyi. Tata rhymes with mama papa gaga rah-rah.

Thomas's picture

What about "North Sea Bilbao", a tournament reuniting all former (shared) winners? To make it 14 players including three Dutch wildcards, we would have to go back to Hoogovens 1996, and the field would be: Carlsen, Karjakin, Aronian, Radjabov, Topalov, Anand, Leko, Bareev, Kasparov, Kramnik, Ivanchuk, (Timman, Piket, van Wely).
Last time Kramnik won was in 1998 (shared with Anand), Ivanchuk won in 1996.

Sumit Balan's picture

Tata is an Indian company which acquired Corus and is sponcering the event now.And as an Indian i am proud that Tata ,an indian company is sponcering this Super GM event.For all those people who doubt the ability of Indians,here are some facts.

Proud to be INDIAN (some interesting facts...)

We Indians are the wealthiest among all ethnic groups in America , even faring better than the whites and the natives. There are 3.22 millions of Indians in USA (1.5% of population). YET,

38% of doctors in USA are Indians.

12% scientists in USA are Indians.

36% of NASA scientists are Indians.

34% of Microsoft employees are Indians.

28% of IBM employees are Indians.

17% of INTEL scientists are Indians.

13% of XEROX employees are! Indians.

Some of the following facts may be known to you. These facts were recently published in a German magazine, which deals with WORLD HISTORY FACTS ABOUT INDIA .

1. India never invaded any country in her last 1000 years of history.

2. India invented the Number system. Zero was invented by Aryabhatta.

3. The world's first University was established in Takshila in 700BC. More than 10,500 students from all over the world studied more than 60 subjects. The University of Nalanda built in the 4 th century BC was one

of the greatest achievements of ancient India in the field of education.

4. According to the Forbes magazine, Sanskrit is the most suitable language for computer software.

5. Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to humans.

6. Although western media portray modern images of India as poverty stricken and underdeveloped through political corruption, India was once the richest empire on earth.

7. The art of navigation was born in the river Sindh 5000 years ago. The very word "Navigation" is derived from the Sanskrit word NAVGATIH.

8. The value of pi was first calculated by Budhayana, and he explained the concept of what is now known as the Pythagorean Theorem. British scholars have last year (1999) officially published that Budhayan's works dates to the 6 th Century which is long before the European mathematicians.

9. Algebra, trigonometry and calculus came from India . Quadratic equations were by Sridharacharya in the 11 th Century; the largest numbers the Greeks and the Romans used were 10 6 whereas Indians used numbers as big as 1053.

10. According to the Gemmological Institute of America, up until 1896, India was the only source of diamonds to the world.

11. USA based IEEE has proved what has been a century-old suspicion amongst academics that the pioneer of wireless communication was Professor Jagdeesh Bose and not Marconi.

12. The earliest reservoir and dam for irrigation was built in Saurashtra.

13. Chess was invented in India .

14. Sushruta is the father of surgery. 2600 years ago he and health scientists of his time conducted surgeries like Cesareans, cataract, fractures and urinary stones. Usage of anaesthesia was well known in

ancient India .

15. When many cultures in the world were only nomadic forest dwellers over 5000 years ago, Indians established Harappan culture in Sindhu Valley ( Indus Valley Civilisation).

16. The place value system, the decimal system was developed in India in 100 BC.

Indian who make us proud...

Q. Who is the GM of Hewlett Packard (hp) ?

A. Rajiv Gupta

Q. Who is the creator of Pentium chip (needs no introduction as 90% of the today's computers run on it)?

A. Vinod Dahm

Q. Who is the third richest man on the world?

A. According to the latest report on Fortune Magazine, it is Azim Premji, who is the CEO of Wipro Industries. The Sultan of Brunei is at 6 th position now.

Q. Who is the founder and creator of Hotmail (Hotmail is world's No.1 web based email program)?

A. Sabeer Bhatia

Q. Who is the president of AT & T-Bell Labs (AT & T-Bell Labs is the creator of program languages such as C, C++, Unix to name a few)?

A. Arun Netravalli

Q. Who is the new MTD (Microsoft Testing Director) of Windows 2000, responsible to iron out all initial problems?

A. Sanjay Tejwrika

Q. Who are the Chief Executives of CitiBank, Mckensey & Stanchart?

A. Victor Menezes, Rajat Gupta, and Rana Talwar.

Marcel's picture

I think that there are a lot more people interested in the prize fund than in my earnings. Don't you think?

columbo's picture

don't underestimate yourself Marcel, it's no good for the wallet


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