XtraTime Web Desk: Vishwanathan Anand, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Wesley So – some of the world’s current top Grandmasters – will battle it out in a new super-tournament, Tata Steel Chess India 2018, from November 9-14, 2018 in Kolkata. The tournament, which will be played in Rapid and Blitz formats, has 11 top-ranked players from around the world.
Viswanathan Anand, who has not played in a tournament in India for over two decades, said today at the inaugural ceremony: “First, tournaments like the Tata Steel Chess India tournament are important because it fills the gap in India where elite meets like this are missing. Second, it is very special to play at home but I’m not more nervous because of that. I am very happy to be here in Kolkata, though I do remember that I missed my GM norm during a tournament here in 1992!”
World No. 3 (Classical) Shakhriyar Mamedyarov: “It’s not about the ELO ratings. In this tournament, 7 to 8 players have a very good chance of winning.”
When asked whether his Rapid (No. 2) and Blitz (No.3) rankings made him the top seed at this tournament, Hikaru Nakamura said: “I don’t care about rankings. We are all here just to play and enjoy the chess.”
The players are Hikaru Nakamura from the United States, Levon Aronian from Armenia, Sergey Karjakin from Russia, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov from Azerbaijan, Wesley So from the US and Viswanathan Anand, Pentala Harikrishna, Surya Shekhar Ganguly, Vidit Gujrathhi, Nihal Sarin and Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu from India.
The participants will play a single round robin (all play all) Rapid Tournament on November 9th, 10th, and 11th followed by a double round robin Blitz tournament on November 13th and 14th. Tata Steel Chess India is part of the FIDE (International Chess Federation) calendar and is being organized under the aegis of All India Chess Federation and the Bengal Chess Association.
The total prize money in the two events is US$ 40,000 with first prizes of US$ 10,000 and US$ 7,500 in the Rapid and Blitz games, respectively.