The Indian team had a short camp under trainer Lev PsakhisThere will be three gold medals at stake at Doha
CHENNAI: A three-member Indian chess team will leave for Doha on Wednesday to compete in the Asian Games to be held from December 1 to 15.
Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran (Elo rating 2675) is joined by GMs Pentala Harikrishna (2674) and Koneru Humpy (2545). Accompanying the trio are coach Manuel Aaron and manager Bharat Singh. The Indian team had a short camp that ended on Tuesday, under trainer Lev Psakhis.
There are three gold medals at stake, with competitions in classical chess, rapid-men and rapid-women. The classical event will be played on three boards with two men and one woman from each country making up the team.
Speaking at a press conference, the players expressed confidence regarding their medal prospects.
"We hope to do well," said Sasikiran.
"The Chinese team are always training together, they do better in team competitions than individual events. They are our main rivals. As a team, we hope to perform much better than before; we've had some discussion with Psakhis."
Viswanathan Anand had reportedly conveyed his wish to play in the rapid section, but according to the rules, players had to compete in both the rapid and classical forms.
The organisers' decision to reserve a place in each side for women suits India well, said D.V. Sundar, Honorary Secretary, All India Chess Federation.
"Humpy is the world's second-ranked female player after Judith Polgar," he said. "Humpy is on par with strong players like Surya Sekhar Ganguly, and we are definitely hoping for the maximum of three golds and one silver."