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Harikrishna returns to Tata Steel Masters after four years

by Shahid Ahmed - 15/01/2021

While we all eagerly wait for the pandemic to be over and get back to pushing pieces over the board and press a physical clock next to it, Tata Steel Chess continues its tradition as the 83rd edition of the 'Wimbledon of Chess' starts on Saturday 16th January 2021. Pentala Harikrishna will make his return to the historic event for the first time since 2017. He will be seen in action along with Carlsen, Caruana, Vachier-Lagrave, Giri, Firouzja, Duda, Wojtaszek, Jorden Van Foreest along with five debutants - David Anton Guijarro, Andrey Esipenko, Alexander Donchenko, Nils Grandelius and Aryan Tari. Photo: Niklesh Jain

Five debutants in the 83rd edition

India no.2 and currently World no. 22 GM Pentala Harikrishna returns to Tata Steel Masters for the first time since 2017. He did not have a good event then as he scored 6.0/13 and finished 9th. Of course things have changed a lot since then and the conditions are different now. He would definitely like to improve upon the last performance at the historic event. Tata Steel Chess is considered 'The Wimbledon of Chess' as it has an 83-year-old long history and witnessed the best of the best all over the world since 1938.

India no.2 and World no.22 Harikrishna will be seen in action | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Tata Steel Chess 2021 logo | Photo: Official site


Starting from Saturday 16th January, all round starts at 6:30 p.m. IST, only Sunday 31st January, the final round will start at 5:30 p.m. IST. Rest days are - 20th, 25th and 28th January.


Carlsen, Caruana and Vachier-Lagrave are the only three players we will see in action among the top ten players of the world. Due to the travel restrictions and health concerns the players list changed a couple of times owing to the pandemic. There will be five debutants this year - David Anton Guiarro, Andrey Esipenko, Alexander Donchenko, Nils Grandelius and Aryan Tari.

The participants of Tata Steel Chess 2021 | Photo: Tata Steel Chess
Tournament Ambassador Anish Giri and Tournament Director Jeroen van den Berg tell you more about the full list of Grand Masters | Video: Tata Steel Chess Tournament

Other events

Following the national and regional guidelines, it has been decided to focus solely on the 14 Tata Steel Masters for this edition. And just as chess enthusiasts have come to expect from the tournament, this year’s selection of Grand Masters is just as exciting as it has been in other years.


Unfortunately, the current conditions to organise an approved and COVID-19 safe top sports event, do not allow for either the Tata Steel Challengers nor the amateur players to take part in the event. Equally attendance by public will not be possible due to COVID-19, though the live stream will make it possible to follow all the games.


As all side events have had to be cancelled for the same reasons and the main focus will be on providing the broadest fan base optimal online viewing opportunities to enjoy this 83rd edition.

Time Control

100 Minutes for 40 moves, followed by 50 minutes for 20 moves, then 15 minutes for the remaining moves with 30 seconds cumulative increment for each move starting from the first move.

What are the participants up to lately?

Carlsen made a breakdown video for the Borgov-Beth match of The Queen's Gambit for Netflix Nordic.

Giri tweeted just the word 'Negative'. We only hope he was talking about his Covid-19 test results.

Duda reached a couple of days ago.

Harikrishna is well versed with the Tata Steel Chess tournaments.

Wojtaszek reached a few days ago

Anton shared a beautiful image on his instagram.


FIDE World Cup 2019 and the recently concluded Airthings Masters winner Teimour Radjabov is missing his favorite tournament.


Follow Harikrishna on twitter

Tata Steel Chess official site

Tournament regulations




EDIT: Donchenko replaced Dubov

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