New Delhi [India], June 22 (ANI): India dominates the line-up for the next mega Meltwater Champions Chess Tour event with four of its finest young stars invited to play in the event scheduled to begin from June 26.
The Asian Rapid will feature a USD 100,000 prize pot and is leg seven of the prestigious ATP-style season of online chess organized by the Play Magnus Group.
Grandmasters Vidit Gujrathi and Adhiban Baskaran plus two of India's most talented young hotshots in Gukesh D and Arjun Erigaisi all qualified or were given wild cards.
Play Magnus Group CEO Andreas Thome said in an official release: "Just as Play Magnus Group is driving innovation to bring chess to a wider audience, Goldmoney is focused on democratizing access to purchasing precious metals through technology. We are excited to partner with Goldmoney, the most innovative name in precious metals."
India's four invitations in one event is more than any other country has achieved so far on the Tour. The Asian Rapid is a 16-player online rapid chess event that starts on June 26 and runs over nine days.
Among the participants is World Champion and current Tour leader Magnus Carlsen and a glittering array of top Asian talent. However, all eyes will be on the in-form 15-year-old Gukesh D, from Chennai, who qualified after winning the recent Gelfand Challenge tournament.
He will face the ultimate test of taking on Carlsen for the first time in the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour's rapid chess format. Nashik-born Gujrathi, meanwhile, is India's No.3 player and commands a strong following among Indian chess fans.
17-year-old Erigaisi will also be hoping to make a breakthrough at the top level and the hugely-entertaining Baskaran will be displaying the aggressive style that has led to him being given the nickname "The Beast".
Elsewhere, China's Hou Yifan, the world's No.1 female player, will become the first woman to compete in the tour. And Saleh Salem will become the first player from the UAE. The theme of the tournament is golden moments in chess. (ANI)