R Praggnanandhaa, D Gukesh among grandmasters scheduled to compete in Indian Chess League

A total of 10 teams will take part in the tournament which will see the participation of over 25 Indian Grandmasters.

Press Trust of India May 09, 2020 20:04:05 IST
R Praggnanandhaa, D Gukesh among grandmasters scheduled to compete in Indian Chess League

India's top chess players, including talented youngsters such as R Praggnanandhaa, D Gukesh, Nihal Sarin and national champion Aravindh Chithambaram will take part in the Indian Chess League to be played online from 15-17 May.

R Praggnanandhaa D Gukesh among grandmasters scheduled to compete in Indian Chess League

File image of R Praggnanandhaa. Image courtesy Amruta Mokal

A total of 10 teams will take part in the tournament which will see the participation of over 25 Indian Grandmasters.

The tournament's main vision is to bring out the best players of our country to play against each other in a team format, the organisers said.

GM Priyadarshan Kanappan, the league commissioner said, "The Sports League was something that I had been very familiar with as I lived in the US where you had leagues for all sports; so I always used to wonder if we could replicate that format in India, and that's how this league idea happened."

"The lockdown helped us in a big way, as chess players have no avenue to play in over the board events, so we were able to convince the top players to play in an online league format," he added.

Praggnanandhaa and Chithambaram will turn out for Team Chess Gurukul to be captained by noted coach and Grandmaster R B Ramesh, while Gukesh, the world's second youngest Grandmaster, will play for Five Fighters, which would also include the experienced GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly, promising young Leon Luke Mendonca, Vishnu Prasanna (Captain) and Soumya Swaminathan.

Karthikeyan Murali, Aditya Mittal and R Vaishali will be the other members of Team Chess Gurukul.

Sarin will be part of Superkids team to be captained by Narayanan Srinath and also includes GMs Arjun Erigaisi, Raunak Sadhwani, Srinath and Divya Deshmukh.

Indian No 6 S P Sethuraman will also be seen in action for Chess Pathshala which includes Swapnil Deshpande (captain), Sankalp Gupta, Krishnater Kushager and Mrudul Dehankar.

The concept is similar to the ongoing FIDE Chess.com Online Nations Cup, with five players, necessarily including a woman and an Under-16 player forming a team.

"With no normal tournaments in the near future, online tournaments are picking up popularity among chess audiences and players. It is a nice concept and hope that the players and spectators enjoy the event," Chess Gurukul captain Ramesh said.

The other teams in the fray are: Desi Boys captained by Vishal Sareen and including GMs Abhijeet Gupta, Vaibhav Suri and IM Tania Sachdev, United India; Chess Thulir captained by GM M Shyam Sundar and including GMs G A Stany and N R Visakh; Cheeky Cheetas and Undercover Agents.

The tournament has a total prize money of Rs 40,000 with the winner receiving 25,000.

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