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Which Chess Championship Is Called ‘Wimbledon of Chess’ and Why?

Published 02/05/2022, 10:15 AM EST

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Names carry a lot of weight. They are not singular entities; they bear stories about time, about things, and most importantly about the people, like you and me. Perhaps what makes a tournament great is its history. What makes it special is the fact that it has traveled through generations. Passing knowledge and tradition to posterity.

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Tata Steel Chess Tournament is the “Wimbledon of chess.” Every year, the top chess players of the world compete in one of the most prestigious tournaments in chess. Though what’s interesting is those budding chess talents also get the opportunity to showcase and groom their skills at the international level through this tournament.


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How old is Tata Steel Chess Tournament?

There are a variety of reasons, it is called the ‘Wimbledon of chess’ but the most prominent reason is because of its history. The first edition of the tournament was played as a local Dutch tournament in 1938. Ever since it has been organized successfully every year and the year 2022 was the 84th edition of the tournament. The tournament moved to Wijk aan Zee from its original location, Beverwijk, in 1968.

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During the early stages, it was sponsored by Hoogovens, then by Corus from 1999, and in 2011, the sponsorship of the tournament was awarded to the Tata Steel group. Though it’s a very old tournament, still the format is kept the same.


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Winners and format

With 8 Tata Steel titles, the world number 1, Magnus Carlsen is at the top of the list of winners. Next to Carlsen is the former world champion and Indian Grand Master Vishy Anand with 5 Tata Steel titles. Unlike any other tournament, in Tata Steel Chess Tournament, 14 players compete against each other in a round-robin format.

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The players compete in two categories; Masters and Challengers. After each player has played against the other player, at the end of round 13, the Grand Master with the highest point is chosen as the winner. However, the special part about the tournament is that while the top players compete for the reputation, the budding chess masters are well-groomed amongst them.

Moreover, tata Steel Chess Tournament is probably the most unique event. It’s the legacy of this tournament that has established it as the ‘Wimbledon of chess’ amongst the people of the world.



Saurav Panwar

625 articles

Saurav Panwar is a US Sports writer at EssentiallySports. A postgraduate in Media and Communication Studies, he shares a profound love for creative direction and filmmaking. Saurav is also an avid reader and a literature devotee whose fandom spreads from classics to sci-fi, non-fiction, plays, comics, and much more.