Tata Steel winner Van Foreest back in Wijk aan Zee: ‘Now more self-confidence’

For years, there was hope for a successor to Jan Timman, in 1985 the last Dutch winner of the prestigious Hoogovens chess tournament, which is now known as a Tata Steel tournament. Last year, that wish finally came true, but the name of the chess player who broke the spell was an unexpected one.

“What next?”, the then 21-year-old surprise Jorden van Foreest repeated the question after his sensational coup. “Yeah, I don’t know…”

A year later, he is a lot more confident in front of the camera. “It is perhaps the most prestigious tournament you can win. And I won it as a huge outsider,” he recalls.

Van Foreest won the tournament by catching up with compatriot Anish Giri, the most famous Dutch grandmaster, in the final round and then outwitting him in the jump-off.

Pieces about the board

The loser has long since put that defeat behind him, but will of course be reminded of it several times in the run-up to this year’s edition, which starts on Saturday. “It was a special moment, also because it ended with Dutch players and a fast game where the pieces flew over the board.”