The Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) on Monday announced that it will host the Chennai Grand Masters Chess Championship 2023 at the Leela Palace Hotel from December 15 to 21.
With an official average rating of 2711 Elo, this will be the strongest tournament held on Indian soil.
This seven-day tournament will give the Indian Grandmasters - D. Gukesh and Arjun Erigaisi - another shot at making it into the Candidates tournament - a marquee event that gives its winner a chance to challenge the current world champion.
Earlier, R. Praggnanandhaa, Vidit Gujrathi and R. Vaishali (Women’s) confirmed their spot at the Candidates 2024, scheduled to happen in Canada.
Both Gukesh and Arjun require a straight win in the tournament to secure their Candidate’s spot via FIDE Circuit 2023 points.
The FIDE Circuit is a new path to qualify for the Candidates 2024, with the best-rated player in eligible tournaments in 2023 earning a spot in the Candidates.
Each player has to compete in at least five FIDE Circuit tournaments, including at least four with a standard time control. The final score would be the sum of the player’s five highest scores.
Fabiano Caruana leads the FIDE Circuit with 119.61 points, having already qualified for the Candidates. Anish Giri of the Netherlands, who is second with 84.31 points, is poised to qualify if Gukesh or Arjun fail to win the Chennai tournament.
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Gukesh now sits third with 79.5 points, while Arjun is fourth with 71.6 points in the FIDE Circuit.
Earlier, speaking to Sportstar, Vidit speculated on a tournament where the AICF could facilitate the Indian players get a second chance.
“Gukesh needs to deliver an extraordinary performance to catch up. As of now, just by odds and likelihood, Anish seems like the favourite with very little time left. However, Gukesh can conduct his own tournament, similar to how Ding Liren qualified for the Candidates, and bridge the gap,” he said.
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