The IIFL Wealth Mumbai International chess tournament has attracted 20 Grandmasters from different nations and will be held (open category over nine rounds) parallel to a juniors event (under-13) at Mount Litera School, Bandra Kurla Complex, from Dec. 30.
Grandmaster Abhijit Gupta is the highest rated player (FIDE rating 2610) in the fray. Srija Seshadri, a WIM, is the highest rated female participant in the Open category.
The tournament is one part of a CSR initiative titled EKA. The other sports featuring in the initiative are tennis and golf (Delhi and Bengaluru as host cities respectively).
Timur Gareyev, holder of simultaneous chess world record wearing a blindfold, is also taking part in the IIFL tournament.The US GM reportedly played against 48 opponents at the same time in Las Vegas last year wearing an actual blindfold.
Praful Zaveri, founder of Indian Chess School, said that the BKC tournament will be broadcast via use of electronic chess boards, supported by commentary for viewers to be in tune with the moves.
The prize money outlay of Rs. 20 lakh is split into Rs. 8 lakh for juniors and Rs. 12 lakh for the Open category.
GM Viswanathan Anand will play simultaneous chess with junior qualifiers on the concluding day.
IIFL also announced support for visually-impaired chess player, Aryan Joshi (FIDE rating 1786), a participant at the recent Chess Olympiad for Visually Challenged in Macedonia.
“I can visualize better than normal players because my calculation is faster,” said the city lad whose ambition is to play against Anand.
Junior tennis and golf
The tennis competitions for juniors, called the IIFL Wealth u-14 ATF tournament, is scheduled at New Delhi between Jan. 20 to 27, 2018.
The winner will be awarded 400 Asian Tour ranking points while the finalist will earn 260 ranking points. Competitions will be held in both singles and doubles for both boys and girls.
In a build up to the u-14 ATF tournament, there will be three National all-India ranking series tournaments, winners will get wild card entries to the New Delhi event.
Hyderabad and Kolkata have been completed and the final all-India ranking series qualifier will commence in Mumbai on Dec. 16.