Chennai, Jan. 17:
Young Russian Grandmaster Predke Alexandr (Elo 2620) will be the rating favorite as top seed in the 11th Chennai Open International Grandmaster Chess Tournament 2019 for Sakthi Group Dr. N Mahalingam Trophy.
Following Predke are fellow Russian GMs Rozum Ivan and Popov Ivan respectively. So far, Chennai Open has attracted 29 foreign players from 14 countries. The titled players include 21 Grandmasters and 28 International Masters, 2 Women Grandmasters and 5 Women International Masters.
Indian challenge will be led by Grandmasters Erigaisi Arjun, Deepan Chakkravarthy, M R Venkatesh, Sundararajan Kidambi, R R Laxman, Neelotpal Das, Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury and Karthik Venkataraman among others.
This prestigious annual event, organized by Tamil Nadu State Chess Association, is scheduled to be held at Hotel NOVOTEL & IBIS Chennai OMR, Sholingannallur from Jan.18 to 25.
The tournament carries a total prize money of Rs.15 lakhs spread over 55 cash prizes. The winner gets the glittering Chennai Open 2019 trophy and a cash award of Rs. 3 lakhs, while the runner-up is awarded Rs. 2
Sakthi Group has been a pioneer in taking chess forward in Tamil Nadu for the last several decades. In 1987, it was in the Sakthi GM tournament in Coimbatore where five time World Champion Viswanathan Anand made his final GM Norm to become India’s first Grandmaster. In addition, Sakthi Group has sponsored a number of district, state, national and International chess tournaments. It is befitting that the winner’s trophy is named after Dr. N Mahalingam, a past President of All India Chess Federation, who championed the growth of chess in Tamil Nadu and India.Further, this 10 round Swiss tournament offers Grandmaster Norm and International Master Norm chances for title aspirants, along with an opportunity to improve their International rating. For the past ten years, the Chennai Open has provided ample opportunities to Indian and especially Tamil Nadu youngsters to attain GM, IM, WGM and WIM Norms. Top 20 games are scheduled to be webcast LIVE.
The inaugural function will be held at 2 pm on 18th January at Hotel Novotel & IBIS Chennai OMR,Sholinganallur.
India’s first International Master & Arjuna Awardee Manuel Aaron will be the chief guest for the inaugural function at the above venue. The prize distribution function will be held at 5 p.m. on 25th January at the same venue.
B. Murugavel, Vice President of Tamil Nadu State Chess Association is the Chairman of the Organizing Committee and P. Stephen Balasamy, General Secretary of the Tamil Nadu State Chess Association, is the Tournament Director, R Anantharam, is the Technical Director and Tournament Coordinator is S Paul Arokia Raj, International Arbiter & FIDE Instructor.