Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: Top seed Arjun Erigaise starts favourite as the star studded 19th edition of the Delhi International open chess tournament kickstarts at the Tivoli Garden resorts here.
Defending champion Grandmaster and five times Commonwealth Champion, Abhijeet Gupta is also back in the fray and starts as the third seed behind Pavel Ponkratov of Russia.
The 25 Lakh prize money event will be played over ten rounds and approximately 300 players have already registered for the event. This includes players from 12 countries apart from India and a total of 21 Grandmasters, 3 Women Grandmasters 26 International Masters and 6 Women International Masters.
“The past two years have not been the kind for off line chess tournaments but suddenly we have a flurry of International events now”, said Bharat Singh Chauhan, Secretary All India Chess Federation.
This is the second event in a row after the Guwahati International that ended on Sunday. After this event the caravan will move to Ahmedabad for the final instalment of triple GM International events in India.
India has won the bid for the Chess Olympiad to be played later this year at Chennai and these plus three other International events in May-June will be some sort of curtain raiser for the biggest chess spectacle to be held in the country for the first time.