Dutch grandmaster Loek van Wely is Hollands second highest rated chess player and has belonged to the world's strongest chess players for two decades. In the years 2001-2006, he won the always very strong Dutch championship six years in sequence, and in 1991-2010, he participated the main event of the Wijk an Zee tournament (what is now the Tata Chess Tournament) twenty times in a row.
40-year-old van Wely became a grandmaster in 1993. He is an aggressive and ambitious player with a very sharp opening repertoire. In last years very strong Dubai Open, he fought for first place during most of the tournament, but lost to Mchedlishvili from Georgia in last round. In last year's chess olympics in Istanbul, he scored 7 points in 11 rounds on board one and two for the Dutch team, which finished in sixth place. In this year's Tata Chess Tournament he finished in the middle of the field, 4 points behind Magnus Carlsen.
Loek van Wely makes his first start in the Sigeman Chess Tournament and is one of the main challengers to the favorite Nigel Short.