Although chess competitions all around the world are still suspended due to restrictive measures caused by COVID-19, some things remain the same under any circumstances. The traditional Tata Steel tournament, also known as “chess Wimbledon” did take place in Wijk aan Zee in the second half of January with its results being incorporated into the March rating list. Since several elite-level players participated in the Tata Steel 2021 we see some changes in the top-10.
1. Magnus Carlsen – 2847 (-15)
2. Fabiano Caruana – 2820 (-3)
3. Ding Liren – 2791
4. Ian Nepomniachtchi – 2789
5. Levon Aronian – 2781
6. Alexander Grischuk – 2777
7. Anish Giri – 2776 (+12)
8. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov – 2770
9. Wesley So – 2770
10. Teimour Radjabov – 2765
Magnus Carlsen was far from his best in Wijk aan Zee and lost 15 rating points there but his top position is still impregnable. Fabiano Caruana dropped 3 rating points despite solid performance (+3) but comfortably occupies the second line in the rating list. Anish Giri (pictured below) did a great job in Tata Steel – his +4 score translates into 13 rating points which allowed Dutchman to break into the top-10 leapfrogging four players and climbing to the seventh position in the rating list.
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave most likely wants to turn his Tata Steel 2021 page and move on. Indeed, the Frenchman’s lackluster performance in Wijk aan Zee cost him 26 rating points and the place in the top-10. Two Polish GMs Jan-Krzysztof Duda and Radoslaw Wojtaszek also suffered rating losses dropping 14 and 11 points respectively.
Jorden Van Foreest – 2701 (+30)
Andrey Esipenko – 2701 (+24)
Anish Giri – 2776 (+12)
Alireza Firouzja – 2759 (+10)
Nils Grandelius – 2670 (+7)
Jorden Van Foreest and Andrey Esipenko are the main beneficiaries in this category after a very strong showing in Wijk aan Zee. The Dutchman became the winner of the event, picked 30 (!) rating points, and hit a 2700-mark for the first time in his career. The same applies to the Russian teenager who netted 24 points and cemented his #2 position in the junior rating list. The gap between him and Amin Tabatabaei bumped up to 72 points.
Alireza Firouzja continues his ascent in the open rating list. The Iran-born teenager earned another 10 points in the Tata Steel 2021 and climbed to 13th position – the coveted top-10 is not that far away now.
Nils Grandelius’ result (-1) in Wijk aan Zee does not seem very impressive but owing to the so-called low base effect it was enough to get 7 points and move up by ten positions in the open rating list.
Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit – Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2021