The 50th edition of the National premier chess tournament starting on Monday and returning to the city after 36 years, wears an open look with the cream of Indian chess staying away from the meet owing to different commitments.

This has given Tamil Nadu GM B. Adhiban to lead the field with an Elo rating of 2,564. He is followed by S.P. Sethuraman with 2,553 and G.N. Gopal with 2,544, both GMs.

The field has 16 GMs, one WGM in Mary Ann Gomes, who is also the women’s National champion, 13 IMs and four FMs. The 13-round Swiss league will conclude on October 14.

A clutch of eager youngsters looking to make an impact in their career will put the seeded players under pressure. The tournament also offers norms considering the number of GMs in fray.

GM Dibyendu Barua, whose academy is organising the meet on behalf of the West Bengal Ad-hoc Committee, was not sure of playing despite entering the field two days back.

He, however, confirmed on the eve of the tournament that he would be playing. His last appearance in this meet was in 2008.

Another veteran Pravin Thipsey, third from India to emerge a GM after V. Anand and Barua, will also be keenly watched, though his rating is below that of the top seed. How these two experienced campaigners will fare is to be seen.

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