The international chess grandmasters will play at Beeld en Geluid at the Mediapark in Hilversum on Wednesday 17 January 2018. On Wednesday 24 January they will visit Groningen, where they will take up their positions in the Academy Building of the University of Groningen. In keeping with tradition, the 80th anniversary edition of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament will be held in Wijk aan Zee, this time from 12 to 28 January. During that event the grandmasters of the Tata Steel Masters will play two rounds at top locations elsewhere in the country, as part of Tata Steel Chess On Tour. Entry is free for visitors on every day of the tournament, including the Groningen event, and the games can also be followed live online. This is the fifth time that the Tata Steel Chess Tournament is going ‘on tour’. The participants will be announced in autumn.
This year, as always, we want to highlight the unifying power of chess during our tournament’, said Myra Rooselaar, chairwoman of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament. ‘Young and old, men and women, amateurs and the world’s leading players will once again be playing games at the same time in Wijk aan Zee. And in line with Tata Steel’s Future Generations community partnership programme, special activities will be organized for young people in all the towns and cities hosting the chess matches. We will also continue to encourage and support initiatives that use chess as a means of bringing together young people from a wide range of cultural backgrounds’, said Rooselaar.
‘Both Groningen and Hilversum occupy a prominent place in the history of chess in our country’, according to tournament director Jeroen van den Berg. ‘From 1982 to 1991 KRO Broadcasting organized ten training matches for Jan Timman, including ones against the then world champion Kasparov. Hilversum has on several occasions organized the Dutch national chess championships, including at the Mediapark. Groningen is the hometown of some well-known chess players, such as the Van Foreest family, Sipke Ernst, Sergei Tiviakov and Jan Werle. In 2013 the city organized a rematch between Karpov and Timman. In 1997 Groningen hosted the World Chess Championships and it has organized more than twenty European Junior Chess Championships for players under twenty years of age. In short, Hilversum and Groningen are excellent choices for the ‘On Tour’ games in the anniversary edition of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament’, said Van den Berg.
Elmer Sterken, Rector Magnificus of the University of Groningen: ‘The University is honoured to host the championship in our Academy building. The University is a logical place for a chess tournament. The Tata Steel Chess Tournament brings together knowledge, industry and chess in the heart of Groningen. We look forward to the opportunities that organizing this event brings.’
Paul de Rook, alderman of the city of Groningen: ‘Grandmasters in Groningen. Not only does that sound good, it’s also entirely logical. Chess is strongly represented in Groningen. The annual chess festival, for example, consistently attracts lots of chess fans to the city. Being host city for the Tata Steel Chess Tournament is not only a great honour, it also ties in well with the city’s sports policy of providing a platform for talented chess players from the region and forging links through sport.’
The Tata Steel Chess Tournament has a long history. It began as a staff tournament for the steel company and has evolved into an international tournament with world-class players. Grandmasters and amateurs alike make sure they reserve these dates in their international chess calendar. Tata Steel has chosen to support chess because the game is all about strategic thinking and finding creative solutions for complex problems. The tournament in Wijk aan Zee is known internationally as ‘the Wimbledon of Chess’.
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