American Grandmaster Wesley So (USA) became the winner of the 79th edition of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament.
He defeated Russian Grandmaster Ian Nepomniatchi with Black pieces, and became clear winner of the Masters group, leaving behind the five time champion Magnus Carlsen and four time winner Levon Aronian.
World Champion Magnus Carlsen came second, while the third place was shared by Adhiban Baskaran (IND), Levon Aronian (ARM) and Yi Wei (CHN).
Wesley So remains unbeaten for 56 games in a row, and is now the World’s number two in live ratings. “Winning this prestigious tournament has been a goal for a long time”, said So after his victory.
English Grandmaster Gawain Jones managed to win the Tata Steel Challengers, as he saved the draw against Chinese Lu Shanglei in the final round, and will participate in the Tata Steel Masters 2018.
The English triumphed thanks to better tie-break than Markus Ragger of Austria, who also scored 9 points and tied for the first place. 16-year-old American Jeffery Xiong came third, and also won the special ’Professor Van Hulst Young Talent Award’, which he received from the 106-year-old Johan van Hulst himself.
The top amateur group was won by Lucas van Foreest (15), brother of Jorden van Foreest (17). The latter participated in the Tata Steel Challengers. His victory means that Lucas van Foreest will participate in the Tata Steel Challengers in next year’s edition.
The closing ceremony was held in Tata Steel plant in Velsen, with presence of all the Masters and Challengers players, many distinguished guests, tournament officials and members of the organizing team.
The present were addressed by Mrs. Myra Rooselaar, Chairwoman of Tata Steel Chess Tournament, Mr. Freek Ossel, Mayor of Beverwijk, Mr. Jeroen van den Berg, Tournament Director, Mr. Freek Dales, Mayor of velsen, who awarded Tata Steel Challengers winner, Mr. Sarkhan Gashimov, who awarded the special ’Vugar Gashimov Fairplay Award’prize to Adhiban Baskaran (Masters) and Eric Hansen (Challengers), Professor Johan van Hulst, Mr. Anatoly Karpov, the 12th World Chess Champion, and finally Mr. Theo Henrar, Tata Steel Chairman, who awarded the Masters winner Wesley So.
Mr. Henrar announced that the 80th edition of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament will take place in Wijk aan Zee from 12 – 28 January 2018.
The ECU President Mr. Zurab Azmaiparashvili paid a visit to the Netherlands after a kind invitation. Mr. Azmaiparashvili visited the Max Euwe Centrum where he has been welcomed by its President, Mr. Jan van Run.
The next day, the ECU President was the guest of honor in the playing hall of the Tata Steel in Wijk aan Zee along with the President of Dutch Chess Federation, Mrs. Marleen van Amerongen, where he officially started the 9th round by traditional hit of the gong.
Mr.Azmaiparashvili was also guest at the live coverage of the event, hosted by GM Yasser Seirawan, where he talked about the upcoming FIDE World Cup, the Chess Olympiad 2018, European Chess Union activities and analysed the ongoing games of the 9th round!
The video of the Tata Steel Chess round 9 live coverage can be seen here (Mr. Azmaiparashvili’s appearance from 1:36 – 2:25).
Photo credits: Tata Steel Chess