Tata Metal Chess: A Picture Retrospective

As chess tournaments go, Tata Metal Chess is gone eternally – it has been held yearly since 1938, with only one yr left. At the moment, it turned one of many strongest chess competitions on the earth.

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It turned one of the photographed tournaments ever. Why? Properly, other than its lifespan and energy, the Wijk aan Zee match has been of curiosity to the Dutch press for nearly as lengthy, and the pictures taken by them (1948–89) can be found on Wikipedia with out restriction.

Presenting a number of pictures of Tata Metal Chess below its many but successive iterations, with some feedback.

From Nationwide to Worldwide: Beaverwijk Hoogovens (1938–67)

The primary territory was solely Dutch in 1938. Ten years later, the match had gone worldwide, however nonetheless had six of the ten gamers representing the host Netherlands.

Tata Steel Photos Beverwijk 1948
The principle match is normally accompanied by a number of occasions, therefore the lively sports activities corridor in 1948 as nicely. Picture: Dutch Nationwide Archives, cc

One among 5, im Lodwijk Prince received the principle occasion. One other decade after that, solely 4 out of ten gamers have been Dutch of nationwide origin. However 1958 was nonetheless yr for the gamers of the host nation.

Tata Steel Jan Hen Donor Max Youwe
The fashionable Tata Metal sector normally consists of the highest two Dutch gamers. In 1958 he would have been former world champion Uwe, Wright and Donner. Picture: Joop van Bilsen / Dutch Nationwide Archives, cc.

Two of the 4 have been co-champions that yr: GM Max Uwe and Jan Hein Donner. He drew his particular person recreation in 28 strikes.

Mixed, they received or shared a joint seven occasions in Beverwijk (the place the match was held till 1967): Uwe, ’42, ’52, and ’58 in 1940 and Donner, ’58, and ’58 in 1950. 63.

Simply two years after the 1960 Beaverwijk match, nevertheless, it was clear that the tide was turning in direction of a way more dramatic worldwide aptitude.

Tata Steel Chess 2022 Tigran Petrosyan Bent Larsen
The principle recreation of the ultimate spherical in 1960, accomplished with the trophy connected within the background. Picture: Herbert Behrens / Dutch Nationwide Archives, cc.

A number of the best gamers in world historical past got here in 1960, not simply native hero Uwe: GM Bent Larsson, Tigran Petrosyan and Salo Flohr all performed in 1960. Larsson and Petrosyan would tie first after Petrosian received his particular person recreation within the occasion. last spherical. In the meantime, Flohr completed fourth with Donner.

It was Larsson’s second time within the match and a primary for Petrosyan and Flohr, who have been additionally the primary Soviet representatives within the match’s historical past. Larsen can also be answerable for one of many organizers of Tata. Favourite Quotes: “Abnormal individuals need to see Naples earlier than they die… however a chess grandmaster should first win Wijk aan Zee.”

After all, in 1960, the match was not but in Wijk aan Zee. He’ll come after eight years.

Wijk aan zee

In 1968, the match moved roughly 5 kilometers west from Beaverwijk to Wijk aan Zee, to maneuver nearer to the ocean. The Hoogovens remained the sponsor. GM Viktor Korchnoi received, as he additionally received in 1971, ’84 and ’87.

Tata Steel Chess 2022 Victor Korchnoy
We right here at Chess.com definitely do not condone smoking, however Korchnoi could be forgiven after dealing with one other 1.e4 right here in 1968. Picture: Eric Koch / Dutch Nationwide Archives, cc.

From 1964–71, 10 of the 11 champions and co-champions within the match have been the Soviets; An exception, in 1965 GM Lajos Portish shared the primary with Soviet GM Efim Geller that yr. In simply 5 years the USSR had come to dominate it apart from the Hugowens, presumably part of their plan for world chess. After all, 1972 would finish his hegemony in additional methods than one: Portish received outright at Wijk, whereas GM Bobby Fischer (who by no means performed in Wijk, in case you are questioning) claimed the world championship.

Tata Steel Chess 2022 Mikhail Tal
Taal had a robust efficiency in Wijk Aan Zee in 1973. Picture: Rob Miremet/Dutch Nationwide Archives, cc.

The Soviets withdrew Wijk the very subsequent yr when GM Mikhail Tal received with 10.5/15 (six wins and 9 attracts) in 1973. It wasn’t even a part of their 95-game undefeated streak that started later within the yr, however it undone it. The streak was a report that will final 43 years.

West closed the hole in Wijk for the remainder of the 70s and 80s. United States GM Walter Brown received in 1974 and 1980 and was joined by a well-recognized face later within the yr.

Tata Steel Chess 2022 Yasser Seerawan Walter Brown
The sport was designed in 16 strikes, though they appear to be far more centered than obligatory to attain that consequence. Picture: Rob Kroes / Dutch Nationwide Archives, cc.

Simply as the 2 finest gamers within the Netherlands received in 1958, the 2 finest gamers in America on the time, GM Yasser Seravan and Brown, have been co-winners in 1980. Yasser’s last criterion was to change into Grandmaster after solely eight years of studying the principles. ,

Shifting on is GM Jan Tiemann, who received the next yr with fellow Dutchman GM Gena Sosonko (the 1977 co-winner with Geller).

Tata Steel Chess 2022 Jan Timman
Timman went on a break in his profitable 1985 match. Picture: Sjekelien Vollebreget/Dutch Nationwide Archives, cc.

Timman received the match once more, this time with an undefeated 9/13. No Dutch participant would declare the match for the subsequent 36 years.

Throughout this, the group of individuals stored on gathering within the match.

Tata Steel Chess 2022 1998 Playing Hall
The TV screens put in right here in Wijk aan Zee in 1998 are very paying homage to that decade. Picture: Boer Picture Press Company, C.C.

Fifty years after the primary image on this retrospective, curiosity within the match is booming. In 1998 it was received by two future world champions: GM Vladimir Kramnik and Viswanathan Anand. The present classical world champion on the time, GM Garry Kasparov, received the primary of three the next yr.


1999 was additionally the final Hoogovens match; The corporate will merge with British Metal and change into Corus. Happily for Chess, the sponsorship was nonetheless thought-about worthwhile and the match continued below the brand new identify in 2000, additionally received by Kasparov. Additionally they received the next yr, when all the highest 9 gamers on the earth participated. After all, he had misplaced his title to Kramnik within the meantime.

Tata Steel Chess 2022 Chorus Nigel Short Lok Van Veli

Van Veley Vs Brief 2005. picture: person steinslag/Wikimedia, cc

The highest Dutch participant in Refrain 2005 was GM Loek van Veli, who received his sixth straight Dutch Chess Championship later that yr. At Wijk, he scored 50% in his recreation, beating GM Nigel Brief. The match was received by GM Peter Lecco.

In the course of the 11 years as refrain from 2000–10, the three gamers have been joint match champions or co-champions seven occasions. Additionally they turned world champions sooner or later: Kasparov, Anand, and naturally… GM Magnus Carlsen.

Tata Metal/Magnus

2011 was the primary yr of the match as Tata Metal, because the identify of the corporate was modified. Which can sound form of boring however it was nonetheless a milestone yr because the match lastly acquired its present branding.

One other milestone GM . was Hikaru Nakamura, then 23, turned the primary American since 1980 to win Wijk aan Zee.

Hikaru Nakamura Tata Steel 2012
The next yr (2012) Tata Metal champion Nakamura defended his title. Picture: Stephen64 / Wikimedia, cc.

New chess followers might not notice that in 2011, with GM Bobby Fischer long-retired (1972/92) and short-dead (2008), america was not practically as chess powerhouse as it’s at present; Solely three of his gamers—Nakamura, GM Gata Kamsky, and GM Alexander Onishuk—have been on the earth’s high 100. And so Nakamura’s win was an enormous deal, even within the days earlier than streaming.

The timing of the match within the type of Tata Metal Chess has been dominated by Magnus, who received the titles 3-7, ’15, ’16, ’18 and ’19 in 2013. Amazingly, though there have been a number of world champion Tata champions, Carlsen’s victory in 2015 made him the primary reigning, unquestionable World champion to win in Wijk. One other attention-grabbing win got here in 2018 for Carlsen.

Tata Steel Chess 2022 2018 Magnus Carlsen Anish Giri
In 2018 Carlson and Carlsen fell into dialog after the conclusion of the match. Picture: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

For the longest time, Wijk didn’t break up. If a number of individuals completed first, they have been co-winners. Which modified in 2018.

GM Anish Giri, who started representing the Netherlands in 2009 on the age of 14, was trying to change into the match’s first Dutch champion since 1985. After all, he clashed with Carlsen who labored Magnus and received the blitz tiebreak.

The most important information the next yr, other than Magnus profitable for the second consecutive yr and seventh general, was Kramnik’s retirement after the match.

Tata Steel Chess 2022 2019 Vladimir Kramnik
Kramnik simply earlier than the final skilled recreation of his profession in 2019. It definitely seems like he was captured right here along with his thoughts some place else. Picture: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

GM Fabiano Caruana received his first Wijk match in 2020, setting the stage for the return of the Wijk aan Zee Championship in his host nation. The primary Dutch winner since 1985 was a assured truth till the top of Spherical 13 in 2021, it was not but identified who it could be till GM Jordan van Forest finally defeated Giri at Armageddon.

Tata Steel Chess 2022 2021 Jordan Van Forrest
A really delighted Van Forrest after profitable the Tata 2021. Picture: Jurrian Hofsmidt / Tata Metal Chess.


We hope you preferred this photographic look again on the longest-running annual sturdy match within the historical past of chess. Did we miss any of your favourite years? Inform us within the feedback.

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