Adhiban spearheads Indian challenge in Asian Chess

Steadily climbing the rating charts, Grandmaster B. Adhiban will spearhead the Indian challenge in the Asian Continental Chess Championship, where five places are up for grabs for the World Chess Cup.

B. Adhiban will be seeded fifth in the Asian Continental Chess Championship.   -  Special Arrangement

Steadily climbing the rating charts, Grandmaster B. Adhiban will spearhead the Indian challenge in the Asian Continental Chess Championship, where five places are up for grabs for the World Chess Cup. Seeded fifth, Adhiban is not the only Indian in pursuit to enter the next world championship cycle from here.

Grandmasters Vidit Gujrathi, Surya Shekhar Ganguly, Abhijeet Gupta and S. P. Sethuraman are seeded sixth to ninth respectively and there is little separating these five in terms of rating.

Grandmaster Le Quang Liem of Vietnam starts as the top ranked player while local star and former FIDE world champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov is the second seed. There will be nine rounds in all under classic time control with 90 minutes to both players till move 40, followed by 30 minutes to finish the game with a 30-second increment from move one.

Padmini leads Indian challenge in the women's championship

In the women’s championship being organised simultaneously, double Grandmaster norm holder Padmini Rout starts as the fourth seed while Soumya Swaminathan is the other Indian girl in top ten rankings. Sarasadat Khademalsharieh of Iran is the top rated in this section, ahead of Guo Qi of China.

There is a combined prize pool of $ 75,000 at stake and the championship will also decide the best rapid and blitz players in the continents. In the open there are 28 Grandmasters in the fray.

While Adhiban, Gujrathi and Sethuraman were all part of the Indian team that won the gold medal ahead of China in the Asian continental, Surya Shekhar Ganguly and Abhijeet Gupta, meanwhile, made their presence felt in strong International opens. Ganguly won the strong Bangkok open just some time back while Abhijeet Gupta dazzled with a sparkling performance in the Reykjavik open where he won ahead of a few top ranked players.

Among other Indians in the fray, Grandmasters M. R. Lalith Babu, Deep Sengupta, Aravindh Chithambaram and Murali Karthikeyan can all spring a surprise on anyone while Rahul Srivasthav will gain valuable experience from the event.

Much is expected from R. Vaishali, who already has a qualification rating of a Woman Grandmaster. Mary Ann Gomes is the most experienced Indian in the fray in the women’s section while Bhakti Kulkarni and B. Pratyusha will be hoping to be in contention when the final dash begins.

In the Women’s championship, only one player qualifies to the next women’s world championship that will be played over a knockout format later this year.