Chess: Magnus Carlsen aims for strong showing at illustrious Wijk aan Zee

The world champion had a disappointing 2017 in classical elite tournaments but has a chance to turn things around when the ‘Wimbledon of chess’ begins

Magnus Carlsen, the world champion, attempts to break an alarming sequence of setbacks in classical elite tournaments when the 14 grandmasters at Tata Steel Wijk aan Zee push their first pawns on Saturday afternoon (12.30pm start, live and free for internet viewers). The annual event in the windswept Dutch North Sea village is the Wimbledon of chess, the most illustrious annual contest on the calendar.

The top first-round pairing is Carlsen v Fabiano Caruana – the world No1 against the world No2. Gawain Jones, the British champion, plays Russia’s Sergey Karjakin, the 2016 world title challenger.

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