KOCHI: Kozhikode's O.T. Anilkumar has been given the top billing in the Airtel Kerala State senior chess championship, which begins at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium here on Monday.

M.B. Muraleedharan, a former National `A' player, and Thrissur's E.P. Nirmal are the second and third seeds respectively in the five-day, nine-round championship.

Around 100 players will be seen in action, but State champion G.N. Gopal, who is on his way to Bangladesh for a Grandmaster tournament, and Kerala No.2 K. Ratnakaran, who has to play a Railway event in Kolkata, will be missing.

The top four finishers will qualify for the forthcoming National `B' championship in Dindigul. Principal Correspondent

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