Chess World Cup: Anand pulls out, but 10 Indians still in fray

Viswanathan Anand has pulled out, preferring to play instead in the FIDE Grand Swiss tournament, which too is a qualifying event.

Viswanathan Anand has chosen to play in the FIDE Grand Swiss tournament.   -  PTI

Ten Indians will compete at the Chess World Cup, to be held in Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia) from September 4.

It could have been 11, but five-time World champion Viswanathan Anand has pulled out, preferring to play instead in the FIDE Grand Swiss tournament, which too is a qualifying event, like the World Cup, for the Candidates.

The winner of the Candidates tourney will earn the right to challenge defending champion Magnus Carlsen for the World title next year. From the World Cup, the two finalists will qualify for the Candidates.

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There will be 128 players in the fray for the World Cup, a knock-out event, unlike most tournaments in chess. Pendyala Harikrishna, Vidit Gujrathi, B. Adhiban, Surya Shekhar Ganguly, S.P. Sethuraman, Karthikeyan Murali, Aravindh Chithambaram, Nihal Sarin, S.L. Narayanan and Abhijeet Gupta are the Indian qualifiers. Among them Harikrishna is the highest seed, at No. 17.

The tournament will be played over seven rounds. The first six rounds will have two classical games, while the final will have four. Tie will be broken by rapid, blitz or sudden-death games.