Winner of the Kolkata open a few months back, Grandmaster Le Quang Liem of Vietnam, will start as the rating favourite in the strong Parsvnath International Chess tournament that starts at Modern School Barakhamba Road on Thursday.
A total of 20 Grandmasters and more than 30 International Masters are going to take part in the biggest ever prize money International tournament of the country. The total prize fund of the event is Rupees 12.5 Lakhs out of which Rs. 2.75 Lakhs is reserved for the winner.
With just a couple of days before the event kicks off, around 325 players have confirmed their entry from over 20 countries and the Delhi Chess Association is hopeful that the entries will breach the 350 mark. The event at the start of the new year, every year now, attracts big stars from across the world and this time, Lenic Luca of Slovenia and best Iranian Grandmaster Ehsan Ghaem Maghami are amongst those will be eying the winner's purse apart from the top seed.
The Indian challenge will be spearheaded by Grandmaster S Arun Prasad in the absence of many Indian stars. The tournament will be sorely missing city's own Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi who is going to take part in the Corus chess tournament being held at the same time. Former winner of Parsvnath and 2008 world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta will also not play this year for the same reason as Parimarjan.
The city's best bet is going to be International Master Sahaj Grover who was awarded the IM title in the just concluded FIDE congress. Sahaj at 2448 ELO rating points, has been amongst the most progressing players of the country in the past few months.
Arjuna awardee Tania Sachdev is another player the capital chess fans will look up when she starts her quest for her second Grandmaster norm during the tournament. A hosts of other city talents are also going to take part in the event.
The Parsvnath group has been sponsoring this tournament for the eighth time running despite the recent recession. The real estate majors are involved in almost all chess activities in the National Capital and it is because Mr. Pradip Jain has taken a stand to promote the game.
"Without Mr. Jain's support it would have been impossible to have such great talents coming out of the city in the past few years. We now have two Grandmasters in Parimarjan and Sriram Jha and Abhijeet Gupta will also play for Delhi where necessary from this year, in addition we now have three International Masters in Tania, Sahaj and Rahul Sangma and surely the chess in Delhi is on a roll thanks to the support of Parsvnath group", says Mr. Bharat Singh Chauhan, organising secretary of the extremely popular tournament.
Top players at 8th Parsvnath International
1 GM Le Quang Liem 2647 VIE
2 GM Lenic Luka 2595 SLO
3 GM Ghaem Maghami Ehsan 2589 IRI
4 GM Turov Maxim 2584 RUS
5 GM Kryakvin Dmitry 2575 RUS
6 GM Kotsur Pavel 2568 KAZ
7 GM Arun Prasad S 2567 IND
8 GM Rahman Ziaur 2548 BAN
9 GM Kravtsiv Martyn 2545 UKR
10 GM Zubarev Alexander 2544 UKR
11 GM Jumabayev Rinat 2536 KAZ
12 GM Iuldachev Saidali 2519 UZB
13 GM Dzhumaev Marat 2515 UZB
14 GM Laxman R R 2503 IND
15 GM Iskusnyh Sergei 2497 RUS
16 GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J 2492 IND
17 IM Sengupta Deep 2480 IND
18 GM Thipsay Praveen M 2469 IND
19 IM Bitoon Richard 2458 PHI
20 IM Himanshu Sharma 2457 IND
21 IM Lalith Babu M R 2457 IND
22 FM Grover Sahaj 2448 IND
23 GM Gutov Andrey 2444 RUS
24 GM Manik Mikulas 2435 SVK
25 IM Dimakiling Oliver 2435 PHI
Total: 325 players
More info: http://delhichess.org/