Newly-crowned National champion and the second youngest Grandmaster ever in the world, Parimarjan Negi will start as one of the contenders for the title in the ninth Parsvnath International Open chess tournament to be staged at the Ludlow Castle Sports Complex, Civil Lines, from Saturday.

The tournament, carrying a total purse of Rs. 13.5 lakh with a winner's share of Rs. 2.8 lakh, has attracted around 25 Grandmasters in a field of nearly 400 players from over 20 countries.

Alexander Areshchenko of Ukraine will be the favourite, along with some big names like Ni Hua of China and Luca Lenic of Slovenia. Former World junior champion Abhijeet Gupta will spearhead the Indian challenge along with Negi.

The tournament will be inaugurated on Friday evening by the Union Minister for women and child development, Krishna Tirath, and will feature two rounds on Saturday. — Special Correspondent

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