Vitiugov replaces Nepomniachtchi in Tata Steel Masters
Ian Nepomniachtchi, currently number 5 on the world ranking, has withdrawn from the 82nd edition of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament. The 29-year-old Russian has indicated that he is too tired after a long and heavy series of tournaments in 2019. He wants to take a break to prepare for the Candidates Tournament in Jekatarinaburg (15 March – 5 April 2020).
Nepomniachtchi will be replaced by his countryman Nikita Vitiugov (32), currently 19th on the world ranking. Like Firouzja and Artemiev Vitiugov has never played Wijk aan Zee before. Nikita Vitiugov was born in Leningrad (St. Petersburg). He has been quite successful, winning big open tournaments in Gibraltar (2013), Karlsruhe (2017) as well as the first Prague Masters in 2019.
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