Tata Steel Festival all set

LET’S PLAY CHESS - Edgar De Castro (The Philippine Star) - January 10, 2021 - 12:00am

The Tata Steel Chess Festival, which ushers in up to Jan. 31 the chess calendar for the New Year, gets underway Jan. 15 at the Dutch coastal town of Wijk aan Zee.

World champion Magnus Carlsen (Norway) and defending champion Fabiano Caruana (USA), will headline the 14-player chessfest that includes world No. 5 Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and hometown bet Anish Giri.

They will be joined by young guns Alireza Firouzja (FIDE), Jan Krzysztof Duda (Poland) and Daniil Dubov (Russia).

The rest of the field are Pentala Harikrishna (India), Radoslav Wojtaszek (Poland), Andrey Esipenko (Russia), David Anton Guijarro (Spain), local GM Jorden van Foreest, Nills Grandelius (Sweden) and Aryan Tari (Norway).

The Cat. 20, single-round robin event will run up to Jan. 31.

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Meanwhile, Azerbaijan world contender Teimour Radjabov ran away with the top prize at the $200,000 Airthings Masters online tournament that concluded last week.

Radjabov, 33, defeated Levon Aronian of Armenia, 2.5-1.5, 2.0-1.0, in the finals, to win the $60,000 cash prize and a spot in the Tour’s grand finals to be held in September.

The 12-player Airthings Masters was the second leg of the $1.5 Million Online Champions Chess Tour. The first leg (Skilling open) was won by the American champion Wesley So.

The 16-player third leg will take place on Feb. 6-14.

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