Duda on Wijk aan Zee

Yesterday Radosław Wojtaszek answered chess24’s questions, and today it’s the turn of another Tata Steel Chess Masters player, Jan-Krzysztof Duda. 

1. How many appearances have you made in Wijk aan Zee and which do you remember best? 

This is my third appearance in the Masters group, and I also played once in the B Group. I remember last year’s appearance best, when I finished with (my best) very solid 50% result. 

2. What’s most important in such a long tournament?

To put it simply: win a lot of games and play well  But seriously, the whole trick is to spread your energy across the whole tournament, so that at some moment you’re not running “on fumes”. The tournament in Wijk aan Zee is exceptionally long since it has 13 rounds and a couple of rest days. On top of that, you’ve got the demanding line-up of players, which all combined means the tournament in the Netherlands is very tough. It’s not for nothing it’s spoken of as the “chess Wimbledon”.

3. What’s your approach to maintaining good physical form?

In Wijk aan Zee, unfortunately, they’re aren’t very many places to play sports, so apart from the traditional and obligatory swimming in the sea at the end of every tournament, the main activity will be regular walks.

4. How do you relax at a tournament: books, videos, games, physical activities?

Books and films. At times long walks as well, as mentioned above.

5. Who’s supporting you during Tata Steel Chess 2021?

I’m on site with my coach Grandmaster Kamil Mitoń, with whom I prepare for particular games. I’m also supported indirectly by my fans in Poland, led by my mum and family. 

6. What’s your goal for the tournament?

Above all I’m glad that such a strong tournament is taking place despite the unstable situation in the world caused by the pandemic. Apart from the tournament in Stavanger and two games in the Polish League I haven’t had the chance to play many games at the chessboard in 2020. Therefore it’s hard to know what kind of form I’m in and how high the goals I set myself should be. The fact is that in my case it’s rare for anything to go according to plan. Therefore I’m not intending to think about the result but to enjoy the return to the chessboard.   

You can follow all the action live here on chess24

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