The Tata Steel Chess India rapid and blitz event will see a three-fold increase in prize money in its second edition to be held at the iconic National Library in Kolkata from November 22. High-rated players such as Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand will fight it out for the knight-shaped trophy.
The Tata Steel Chess India rapid and blitz event will see the best of stars in action including 10 Grandmasters, eight of which are in the top-15 in the world, and also a three-fold increase in prize money, in its second edition, to be held at the Bhasha Bhawan auditorium of the iconic National Library in Kolkata from November 22 to 26. The event is a part of the high profile eight-leg USD 1.75 billion Grand Chess Tour (GCT) which is inspired by the legendary Gary Kasparov and launched in 2015.
The field will have reigning world champion, Magnus Carlsen of Norway, former world champion and defending blitz champion, India’s Viswanathan Anand, highest-rated Chinese Ding Liren, leading Armenian Levon Aronian, American Wesley So, five-time USA champion and defending rapid champion Hikaru Nakamura, Russian-born Dutch player Anish Giri, Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi, and two wildcards in Vidit Gujrathi and P. Harikrishna.
The Kolkata leg, which offers a prize purse of USD 150,000, will be the penultimate event before the GCT Finals, to be held in London from December 2. Already qualified for the London leg are Carlsen and Liren, while several others, including Anand, will fight for the two remaining spots in the finals.
“The prize money is three times that of what we offered last year. It’s great to be part of the prestigious GCT, which is broadcast all over the world. The enhanced profile of the event where chess lovers get to see the top players play in front of them will promote the sport in our country,” Chanakya Chaudhary, vice-president, Corporate Services, Tata Steel, was quoted saying by Sportstar at the launch of the event on Thursday.
Sculptor Madhusudan Bhaskar has crafted the knight-shaped trophy that was also unveiled in the presence of GM Dibyendu Barua at the event. All India Chess Federation (AICF) secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan said it was a dream to watch the champions perform under one roof in India.
“We lacked in making top players play in India. It was an expensive affair. Good that we can see these champions perform here. This is the first time Carlsen and Anand will be under one roof in a tournament in India (leaving aside the World championship match),” said Chauhan.