Reports | December 20, 2013 9:47

Players of both groups Tata Steel 2014 confirmed

Players of both groups Tata Steel 2014 confirmed

All names of the 2014 Tata Steel tournament's two top groups are known. Hari Krishna Pentala was the 12th player added to the list of the top group ("Masters"), while Radek Wojtaszek, Yu Yangyi and Baadur Jobava top the "Challengers" group in which Jan Timman will also play.

Radek Wojtaszek, Baadur Jobava and World Junior Champion U20 Yu Yangyi are the favorites to win the "Challengers Group". The top player in this group will qualify for the "Masters Group" of 2015. Wojtaszek will surely come to Wijk aan Zee well prepared, having worked as one of Vishy Anand's seconds for years. Jobava is known for his creative (opening) play while Yu Yangyi has a very aggressive style.

Again the organizers have opted for a mixed group with young, experienced, male and female players. The two women playing this year are Anna Muzychuk of Slovenia and Zhao Xue of China, who won the women's section of the "Basque System" tournament in Beijing a few days ago. Both Zhao Xue and Yu Yangyi will play in Wijk aan Zee for the first time.

The youngest players are Jan Krzysztof Duda of Poland and Kayden Troff of USA. Both were born in 1998 and can boast of some early successes: Duda became a GM recently and is already rated 2557 while Troff is the reigning World Youth Champion U14.

It's nice to see Dutch chess legend Jan Timman playing again in Wijk aan Zee - for the third time in a row. As the oldest participant (62) he is the highest rated Dutch participant, just ahead of Dutch Champion Dimitri Reinderman. 18-year-old IM Benjamin Bok is hoping to score his third GM norm while IMs Merijn van Delft and Etienne Goudriaan qualified from last year's nine-round event.

Tata Steel 2014 | Challengers

# Title Name Fed Rating
1 GM Wojtaszek, Radek POL 2711
2 GM Jobava, Baadur GEO 2705
3 GM Yu, Yangyi CHN 2667
4 GM Saric, Ivan CRO 2632
5 GM Brunello, Sabino ITA 2603
6 GM Timman, Jan NED 2600
7 GM Reinderman, Dimitri NED 2588
8 GM Zhao, Xue CHN 2568
9 GM Muzychuk, Anna SLO 2566
10 GM Duda, Jan-Krzysztof POL 2557
11 IM Bok, Benjamin NED 2540
12 IM Troff, Kayden USA 2457
13 IM Goudriaan, Etienne NED 2429
14 IM Van Delft, Merijn NED 2425

11 of the 12 names of the top group had been announced earlier and the last name is now also known: Hari Krishna Pentala of India. Here's the full list:

Tata Steel 2014 | Masters

# Title Name Fed (Live) rating
1 GM Aronian, Levon ARM 2813
2 GM Nakamura, Hikaru USA 2789
3 GM Caruana, Fabiano ITA 2782
4 GM Gelfand, Boris ISR 2777
5 GM Karjakin, Sergey RUS 2759
6 GM Dominguez, Leinier CUB 2754
7 GM Giri, Anish NED 2734
8 GM So, Wesley PHI 2719
9 GM Naiditsch, Arkadij GER 2718
10 GM Hari Krishna, Pentala IND 2708
11 GM Rapport, Richard HUN 2687
12 GM Van Wely, Loek NED 2678

It's clear that, hit by the financial crisis, Tata Steel was forced to decrease its budget for the annual chess tournament in Wijk aan Zee. The 76th edition will have two GM groups instead of three, and the top one has 12 players instead of 14.

An interesting change is that two rounds will be played elsewhere: round 4 will be held at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam while the 9th round will be at High Tech Campus in Eindhoven.

This year the tournament will have live streaming commentary for the first time:

Saturday 11 January - Yasser Seirawan 
Sunday 12 January - Yasser Seirawan 
Monday 13 January - Erwin l’Ami 
Wednesday 15 January (Amsterdam) - Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam 
Friday 17 January - Lawrence Trent 
Saturday 18 January - Lawrence Trent 
Sunday 19 January - Lawrence Trent 
Tuesday 21 January - Erwin l’Ami 
Thursday 23 January (Eindhoven) - Erwin l’Ami 
Saturday 25 January - Ian Rogers 
Sunday 26 January - Tex de Wit

The 76th edition of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament will take place from 10 to 26 January 2014. The tournament website is

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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.


Born's picture

I was hoping Carlsen would play here.. Maybe he will pull a Bobby Fischer and never play again! :P

Does anyone know the next tournament Carlsen will play in?

Bonner-jee's picture

Carlsen is the Champ - no doubt about that, but one Jobava is much more fun to watch then 10 game by Carlsen.

Ihab's picture

Carlsen enjoying the money now...I guess in the future he'll be very selective in which tournaments to play based on what he gets paid. Not bad I think

Thomas Richter's picture

Carlsen will play in Zurich almost right after Wijk aan Zee - maybe he didn't want to play two supertournaments in a row even if four other players do (the four Tata Steel top seeds Aronian, Nakamura, Caruana and Gelfand - the sixth Zurich participant is Anand).

He will certainly play Norway Chess "in June" (exact dates to be announced) - the homepage mentions "a collaboration with the Tal Memorial", whatever that might exactly imply.

As far as other supertournaments are concerned: There is of course the candidates event (without Carlsen), will there be second editions of Baden-Baden and Alekhine Memorial?

Born's picture

Thanks for the information! Based on the current live ratings, the Zurich tournament will have an average ELO of 2800. Making it the strongest 6 player tournament in chess history.

Alcoholics anonymous's picture

"whatever that might exactly imply"

It's a reference to the economic crisis.

Frits Fritschy's picture

I had expected Robin van Kampen in the Challengers, now he crossed the 2600 line. Anyone knows why he is not playing?

Anonymous's picture

Is ChessVibes now removing comments that ae not chearing on Where did the comment that S3 posted about the dodgy reputation of regarding censorship and the replies to that comment go? I thought it was a thoroughly interesting read. And I wondered if Peter was aware of these practises in when he sold ChessVibes. All comments are gone. Revising history ? On ChessVibes? Wow.

Creemer's picture

I did a little check: I posted the link above and another two links about a lawsuit is involved in, in the forum.

Within the hour I was suspended and the message was removed, though it only cotained neutral information. is dead and so is Chessvibes. I am afraid Peter is already regretting his decision... Or not, but hey, I'm gone anyway!

Peter Doggers's picture

As I've stated before, has not really been actively involved in ChessVibes yet and so not much has changed. If any comment is deleted here it's because it is rude or completely irrelevant to the article or otherwise violating our terms. If you don't like don't go there. Simple. But don't spoil the comments here. I'll leave these two because I want this point to be clear: we're still trying to bring the same news and articles and other products; the takeover did not change that. If you want to share well funded criticism I'm certainly not going to delete it, but just try to phrase it in a mature way. Be nice!

Bronkenstein's picture

´ has not really been actively involved in ChessVibes yet´ - so it was you who deleted (amongst others) my comment on ´Chess sculptor...whatever´ article? I secretly hoped that it was some of our friends =(

Anonymous's picture

As hoped I.

RG13's picture

Well Peter is now one "of our friends" because he works for them. No?

Anonymous's picture

My first comment on that article was very complimentary and appreciative i think.You should be able to see which one that was I think? Same IP? I was just wondering about the policy regarding comments here after reading S3's comment. And if my comments were perceived as rude I apologize, that was never my intention. I have always held ChessVibes in high regard, and reading that article I linked, plus the comments from respected people in the chess world, made me wonder whether the same standards would be upheld, now is at the helm.I am also pretty sure that you at least understand a little, that for someone who has loved ChessVibes for it's high quality reporting combined with freedom of speech for many many years, the changes are a little suspect. I hope you can continue what ChessVibes has represented over the years to many of us, loyal readers and I am certainly cheering you on , to that end.

English Breakfast's picture

S3 comments should be on auto-delete.

The Real Anonymous's picture

o.k. whatever. but would you please stop using my username?

Niima's picture

@ Peter

Well said. I for one have not noticed any changes in your coverage or attitude and enjoy your site as always.

Anonymous's picture

are* and cheering* of course.

Anonymous's picture

No Carlsen

No point watching the tournament.

Carlsen is the superstar of chess.

You don't have ham with out cheese do you?

Take away the ham, the cheese means nothing.

Mart Smeets's picture

What nonsense. Certainly Carlsen's playing style is not the most interesting to watch, too dry, even slightly boring.

Anonymous's picture

Fart Smeets

In case you haven't noticed.

Magnus Carlsen is the World Champion.

And the world number 1 by some distance.

He is THE superstar of chess.

Any chess tournament without Magnus Carlsen will not be as glamorous and exciting.

Carlsen is to chess what chocolate sauce is to icecream; take away the chocolate sauce and it's just another vanilla icecream. But that's only if you have icecream and chocolate sauce, if you don't have any icecream or chocolate sauce, then it don't matter.

Thomas Richter's picture

I like vanilla icecream but am not that fond of chocolate sauce - but at least you seem to require both, i.e. a Carlsen simul isn't more interesting than a supertournament with several other world-top players.

Nonetheless, I consider such an attitude (shared by some but hopefully not all chess fans) dangerous and undesirable. Should one player and/or his management, even if he is world #1 and world champion, decide which events are worthy of his (their) and therefore everyone's attention? There will always be events without Carlsen, for various reasons: he can't play Gibraltar because he will play in Zurich, he couldn't play the World Team Championship because Norway didn't qualify. At the Olympiad, will games between Carlsen and "some GM" on table 20-50 get more attention than key games (medal-deciding) on the top tables between - among others - Aronian, Nakamura, Ivanchuk and Kramnik? If so, I can do without such Carlsen hype (and I share Mart Smeets' opinion on his playing style).

Anonymous's picture

shut up Thomas, you're opinion means nothing.

Anonymous's picture

"I can do without such Carlsen hype"

Shame on the hyped Carlsen!

WCC2013's picture

"Nonetheles, I consider such a attitude dangerous and undesirable."

Magnus does NOT "decide which events are worthy of his and therefore everyone's attention". It is the fans themselves who decide which tournament they want to support. Hence this point is invalid.

Not to burst your bubble, but you aren't the only chess fan in existence. Yes I will be more interested in a game 'between Carlsen and "some GM" on table 20-50" simply because I am a Carlsen fan and I want to see how he performs this time after the disastrous 2010 performance. It might not interest you, but then again you are only interested when you have an opportunity to criticize him.

Speaking of criticising carlsen, you have always done so yet maintained a "I am objective" standpoint. Your last words here "I share Mart Smeets' opinion on his playing style" just destroyed once and for all any objectivity you might pretend to have. From now on why don't you just freely criticise him without bothering with your objective facade? After all everybody already knows your true colours.

Anonymous's picture

i can't see a THOMAS RICHTER fide card.

Anonymous's picture

Any subject is boring unless you try to study and understand it

RS's picture

Does anyone know why Wojtaszek who is rated slightly higher than Pentala, Rapport and Van Wely is in group B but not A?

Thomas Richter's picture

There may well be separate reasons why Harikrishna, Rapport and van Wely play in the A group. Harikrishna - the sponsor is from India, and Anand doesn't play. Actually Harikrishna got the last spot in the A group (kept open for a long time just in case Carlsen changes his mind?) and might otherwise have been in the B group. The entire event used to have several Indian players (also e.g. Ganguly and Gupta [Tania Sachdev plays Gibraltar 2014]), but now goes from three to two GM groups with 26 rather than 42 players altogether.

Rapport shared first place in the B group last year and 'lost' the tiebreak against Naiditsch. Usually in such a situation they invite both players to the A group next year - it's rather an exception that Rapport only made it, so it seems, due to the financial crisis.

van Wely - they simply wanted a Dutch wildcard in the top group (Giri isn't necessarily a wildcard, as he is also invited to other supertournaments).

Moreover, (most) players were probably invited some months ago when their Elos might have been a bit different from the current (live) list. And the B group looks more prestigious if it also has 2700+ players?

RS's picture

Good explanation as expected from you Thomas. I am still a little unhappy that Anand and Carlsen declined largely due to invitation fee not big enough.

Well we had Pentala win the group B a couple of years back and play last year's A tournament. He finished 4th or 5th, not bad for him. So he was a potential choice for this year if the big boys decline.

Rapport is one i would be very keen on. He is a great chess talent and can shape up to be a 2750+.

I would have liked to see the 14 year old Chinese prodigy Wei Yi to be invited to play in group B. He has given the strong players a tough time in world cup and needs such tmts

Anonymous's picture

"Good explanation as expected from you Thomas. I am still a little unhappy that Anand and Carlsen declined largely due to invitation fee not big enough"

How much do you want them to play? Both participate in Zurich later in January and just played a title match. Compare to Kramnik who doesn't play any classical chess before Candidates "due to invitation fee not being big enough" according to your logic, I suppose

RS's picture

Both of them have been playing in this tournament for years. Anand for the last 20+ yrs and Carlsen for 10. This tmt played a big role in what they are today. So the least they can do is show their gratitude and play if the money is less.

As regards Kramnik well he got his priorities in place. Candidates is what is wants to win, and it is not money that is keeping him out of this tournament.

Anonymous's picture

"the least they can do is show their gratitude and play if the money is less"

You can't be serious :) The title match finished less than a month ago, and a month from now both play in Zurich. Even the beloved Kramnik of course never played two tournaments just after a title match.

"As regards Kramnik well he got his priorities in place"

When he doesn't participate it's because he got his priorities in place, when Anand and Carlsen doesn't participate it's because they are greedy and ungrateful. :) Both Anand and Carlsen stated months in advance that they were not interested in playing Tata since they would need rest just after the title match. I guess you mean they are simply lying?

RS's picture

There is a difference between playing in Wijk Aan zee and Zurich. One of them i have already stated. Apparently it makes no sense to you.

the second reason is playing against a wider and lesser famalier competition in Zurich vs a larger and lesser famalier competition in Wijk. A larger and lesser famalier competition is more difficult even if it comprises of lower rated players.

I don't buy the reason that they don't have enough time. Well it more than an 6 weeks between these two tmts and that is sufficient. Perhaps not if the appearance fee is not good enough or the competitors are new and more tricky than playing against those well known.

Yes Kramnik has his prioriites in place. He just cannot afford not winning the Candidates. Anand can afford to skip it entirely.

RS's picture

A correction -

the second reason is playing against a wider and more famalier competition in Zurich vs a larger and lesser famalier competition in Wijk.

Anonymous's picture

You are right that the previous reason you gave doesn't make any sense to me, and neither does the second. Going by your talk about how Carlsen wants to avoid the new and tricky opponents in Tata and instead prefers to face Aronian, Anand, Caruana, Nakamura and Gelfand in Zurich I can only assume that you are a So fan, and that explains a lot.

In 2012 Anand played his first post-match classical event four months afterwards, In 2010 he took a five month break, after the 2008 match he took a four month break etc. Carlsen and Anand are now both playing only two months after the match, and you complain about them not playing two tournaments two months after the match. You claim this is because they are greedy and ungrateful and afraid of So et al. Yeah, sounds really logical.

Anonymous's picture

In Carlsen's case one can of course always expect criticism, especially from the more nutty "neutral observers". Carlsen won Tata going +7 last year, when the dear Thomas was unhappy about Carlsen playing, declaring that organizers should dare not to invite Carlsen to top tournaments :)

RS's picture

Anand has already played the London classic so your argument of them not having enough rest dosen't hold good.

Also both Carlsen and Annad declined playing in Tata steel tmt after knowing what fee is on offer.

I would rather see these come out of their comfort zone and play THE tournament. Zurich is going to be such a dull event only interesting to Carlsen's "Anonymous" fans.

You need to get your fact right first.

Anonymous's picture

"Anand has already played the London classic"

Yes, a few rapid games with little relevance to anyone, and how good did that go? Anand lost like a child with white already in the opening to a Kramnik he had 10-1 against in rapid chess over the last decades.

Anand never played a classical chess tournament earlier than four months after a World Championship neither in 1995, 2007, 2008, 2010, or 2012. Both Anand and Carlsen now play just two months after the match, in the strongest tournament available, and what you call them ungrateful and greedy for, is not playing another long tournament before (!) that one.

Ridiculous, of course.

RS 's picture

Let me get your argment straight - If Anand plays a tmt it should not be counted and if he plays in Zurich with some very famalier opposition within 4 months then it is also OK but he has all the reasons such as needing rest for Tata steel chess particularly when the budget is cut and the appearence fee is not as attractive as before. Right?

Ridiculous indeed. Also again get your facts right and get a proper handle.

jmason's picture

Probably (if you are not on the very elite) you cannot reach the A group unless you play in a lower one first .

PeterV's picture

Masters Group: very interesting line up. I look forward to it.

Anonymous's picture

Interesting, Zhao Xue and Anna Muzychuk were scheduled to go to Gilbraltar, and their names are still on the Gibraltar Master list. I guess Tata B > Gibraltar Masters?

Anonymous's picture

I would think so. Tata B is by invitation only and Gibraltar is an open. They can participate in Gibraltar anytime; they may never get a chance to participate in Tata again.

MrX's picture

Too many greats are missing (Carlsen, Kramnik, Anand, Ivanchuk and Svidler just to mention a few). Unfortunately this will an event easily forgotten, but I hope the games will be more interesting than the line-up.

Anonymous's picture

I hope we will see them all in the Tal memorial.

Morley's picture

Well most of those guys will be in Zurich which follows right after Tata.

fr's picture

Why not Bacrot or Vachier-Lagrave ? No french player...

Dirk's picture

Tata + Zurich back to back is too much chess. It will be interesting to see players take both on their schedule and how their performances will degrade in the later games.

Anonymous's picture

It's really too bad that tournaments don't work together to set a decent schedule that allows a proper rest time which would then increase the chances of producing higher quality chess. The lack of cooperation in the chess world really boggles the mind sometimes.


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