As Chairwoman of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament I am extremely happy and grateful we are able to host the 83rd edition of this prestigious event. Whilst top sports events like ours are officially permitted, we took the decision to go ahead only after close engagement with the relevant national and regional governmental health & safety bodies and community partners. We have worked relentless behind the scenes these past weeks to ensure we could hold a world-class, coronavirus-safe tournament.
For 83 years, it’s been a tradition to kick off the new year with the Tata Steel Chess Tournament, also known as the “Wimbledon of Chess”. Being able to have the 14 chess Grand Masters play, face-to-face, right in the heart of our community adds value to chess fans as well as to our community. Wijk aan Zee will again become the (virtual) epicentre for chess professionals and lovers around the world.
Since the current circumstances won’t allow for public attendance, we have ensured an enhanced online experience. For starters the opening ceremony, including the drawing of lots, will be made available online. And next to the daily live stream broadcasts from the Moriaan in Wijk Aan Zee, a suite of online activities will be set up with our community partners and made available. The focus of these will be on engaging with young people during the Tata Steel Chess Festival, as we firmly believe chess has the power to help connect people #ChessConnects. And the huge success of the Netflix-series “The Queen’s Gambit” will surely contribute to the popularity of the game.
When I started in this role, I quickly learned that people who play chess – beginners and advanced alike – are really passionate about the sport. And it’s exactly that shared passion which fosters a connection between people, irrespective of age, gender, race, ability or religion.
In these crazy and uncertain times, I know it’s this shared passion which will contribute to the success of this edition of the tournament too. Although we will not be able to welcome the amateurs or general public this year, I’m sure the 14 world-class top Grand Masters and the various online activities will ensure we will have a fantastic tournament again.
So please join me online, for the daily live stream of the events as well as on our social media channels. I truly hope that next year, we’ll be able to welcome you again in person to our beautiful Wijk aan Zee to again enjoy the connection chess brings to us all.
With warm regards,
Chairwoman of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament