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Tata Steel Challengers 2016

Theo Henrar (left), Anish Giri (middle) and Jeroen van den Berg (right) at the Tata Steel 2016 press conference

Theo Henrar (left), Anish Giri (middle) and Jeroen van den Berg (right) at the Tata Steel 2016 press conference

The Tata Steel Challengers 2016 tournament will take place in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands, from January 15 to January 31 2016. The Tata Steel Chess Tournament is divided in two tournaments – Masters and Challengers, each featuring 14 players. The Masters tournament will be taking place alongside the Challengers bracket and will feature GM Magnus Carlsen, who won the previous edition of the tournament. (see the full list of participants here)

Tata Steel Challengers will once again be a very strong parallel event to the main section. It features Jorden van Foreest, at 16 years old, who is currently the youngest Dutch Grandmaster and will debut at the Tata Steel Chess Tournament in January 2016. However, Van Foreest is not the youngest ever chess player to participate in Wijk aan Zee, as the 15-year-old Samuel Sevian, who at the age of 14 managed to secure 5th place in the Tata Steel Challengers in January 2015 holds this honor.

Jeroen van den Berg, director of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament: “I am very pleased with the field of partipants of the Tata Steel Challengers. It is a good mix of nationalities and of young and more experienced players. Samuel Sevian from the USA is one of the youngest chess talents, whose rating has almost reached the magical 2600 barrier. Among other opponents, he will face Russian Mikhail Antipov, who is only three years older and already reigning world youth champion. I am also very interested in seeing how the youngest Dutch grandmaster, Jorden van Foreest, will perform at his first tournament in Wijk aan Zee.”

Dutch women champion Anne Haast will participate for the second time. Apart from successfully defending her national title, she has also managed to lay claim to the national rapid chess title this year. There are two other female participants who will make their debut in Wijk aan Zee. The very strong Chinese grandmaster Ju Wenjun has been part of the women’s Top 10 for quite a few years. Nino Batsiashvili (Georgia) is the other female grandmaster participating.

With an average rating of 2570 the second group of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament is considerably stronger than the 2015 field (which had an average rating of 2554). Players from eight different countries will participate.

Participants Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2016, Tata Steel Challengers

Name Country Rating

Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu Germany 2675

Adhiban Baskaran India 2669

Eltaj Safarli Azerbaijan 2653

Alexey Dreev Russia 2644

Erwin l’Ami The Netherlands 2628

Benjamin Bok The Netherlands 2594

Samuel Sevian USA 2578

Mikhail Antipov Russia 2569

Nijat Abasov Azerbaijan 2556

Jorden van Foreest The Netherlands 2547

Ju Wenjun China 2543

Nino Batsiashvili Georgia 2498

Miguoël Admiraal The Netherlands 2438

Anne Haast The Netherlands 2390

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