FIDE's tournament to honour first World champion

Reigning World champion Carlsen to play in Steinitz memorial blitz event. No Indian player has been confirmed to play yet.

It is confirmed that the latest of those 16 World champions, Magnus Carlsen of Norway will play.   -  Getty Images

In the 134-year history of the World chess championship, there have been only 16 undisputed champions. Wilhelm Steinitz of Austria was the first: he reigned from 1886 to 1894.

May 17 will mark his 184th birth anniversary. The world chess governing body FIDE, in partnership with chess24.com, is organising a star-studded online tournament in his memory.

The 10-player round-robin blitz tournament carries a prize fund of 30,000 Euros. The FIDE Online Steinitz Memorial tournament will be held from May 14 to 17.

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Though the final list of participants is yet to be finalised, it is confirmed that the latest of those 16 World champions, Magnus Carlsen of Norway will play. Three-time World blitz champion Alexander Grischuk of Russia, the 2013 World blitz champion Le Quang Liem of China, World No. 11 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan and World No. 24 Peter Svidler of Russia are also in the fray.

In the women's section, Kateryna Lagno of Russia, a former World rapid and blitz champion, and former World champions Alexandra Kosteniuk of Russia, Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria and Tan Zhongyi of China are among the main stars.

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“Steinitz was a revolutionary and his historic 25 game winning streak, or his 32 years undefeated in match-play, speaks volumes about his caliber as a player,” said FIDE president Arkady Dvorkovich. “We are paying a tribute to to his legacy.”

No Indian player has been confirmed to play yet in either tournament. “I haven't got any invitation so far,” the reigning women's World rapid champion Koneru Humpy told Sportstar.

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