Top players for National team event

PUNE, JUNE 1 Defending champions Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB), Indian Airlines, Life Insurance Corporation and Banks Sports Board are the main contenders for the title in the open category of the 28th National team chess championship which is to be held here from June 3-8.

Twenty-nine teams have entered the fray in the open section and winner over the last six years, PSPB with four Grandmasters to prop them up, is the favourite. The tournament with prize money of Rs 1.88 lakh, is to be held at the Manohar Mangal Karyalaya, Erandawane.

Host Bhuddibal Kreeda Trust is the defending champion in the women's section which has attracted six teams, including title-favourite LIC which has, in its ranks, women Grand Masters Nisha Mohota and Swati Ghate.

In the open section PSPB, consisting of GMs Abhijit Kunte, Suryashekhar Ganguly, Sandeepan Chanda and R.B.Ramesh and International Master Lanka Ravi sport a formidable look.

Their main challenge would come from Bank Sports Board, comprising GM Pravin Thipsay, IM Ravi Hegde, Prathmesh Mokal, Sudhakar Babu and Sharad Tilak, Indian Airlines (GM Tejas Bakre, WGM Vijayalakshami, IM Satypragyan, Rahul Shetty, and C.S.Gokhale) and LIC (IM Anup Deshmukh, Atanu Lahiri, WGM Swati Ghate, Nisha Mohota).

This is the second time that the Buddhibal Kreeda Trust will be hosting a National level tournament. Earlier it hosted the National B tournament for women in September 2002. — PTI