Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand, Arjun Erigaisi, Vidit Gujrathi, Nihal Sarin and Mitrabha Guha will be part of the cash-rich 64-player Chess.com Global Championship online rapid knockout chess beginning on Wednesday.
The players, divided into eight groups of eight players each, play each round of four rapid games of 15-minute plus two-second increment. In case of a 2-2 deadlock, an Armageddon game will decide the tie.
Placed in Group F, Anand opens his campaign against Russian Pavel Ponkratov. In the same group, Raunak Sadhwani plays the 2005 World champion Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) and Anand plays the winner of Nodirbek Abdusattorov-Boris Gelfand match. The winner of Raunak-Topalov clash will take on the winner of the match between rating favourite Anish Giri and Women’s World champion Ju Wenjun.
Arjun, the second strongest Indian player in standard ratings, is due to face Russian David Paravyan in Group E and Nihal Sarin plays Azerbaijan’s Rauf Mamedov in Group G.
Vidit and Guha are clubbed in Group B. Vidit plays Russian Alexey Sarana and Guha plays title-contender Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Poland).
The first round will be held between September 14-17, second round from September 21 to 24 and the pre-quarterfinals from October 2 to 9.
The eight group toppers will advance to the CGC Finals to be held in Toronto from November 2-7. The 56 eliminated players will share the prize-money of $440,000 as under: 8 pre-quarterfinalists - $15,000 each; 16 second-round losers – $10,000 each; 32 first-round losers - 5,000 each.
In Toronto, the matches will consist of eight rapid games of 15 minutes plus 10 second per move. The champion will receive $200,000, runner-up $100,000, losing semi finalists $50,000 each and the losing quarterfinalists, $25,000 each.