Nihal Sarin, Praggnanandhaa get wild cards for chess World Cup

The Indian contingent will have 12 members at the Chess World Cup after Grandmasters Nihal Sarin and R. Praggnanandhaa received the last two wild cards on Saturday.

Nihal Sarin

Nihal Sarin, 16, will represent India at the chess World Cup that begins in Sochi, Russia, on July 12.   -  Special Arrangement

In a surprise development, Grandmasters Nihal Sarin and R. Praggnanandhaa have received the last two wild cards from FIDE president Arkady Dvorkovich for the World Cup chess beginning in Sochi, Russia, on July 12.

The All India Chess Federation secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan received an email from Dvorkovich on Saturday morning confirming the wild cards.

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“We are extremely grateful to Mr. Dvorkovich for giving three out of four wild cards to India from his quota. Our young players have done consistently well to grab global attention and hence their inclusion in the World Cup is justified,” said an elated Chauhan.

“After D. Gukesh gained a wild card earlier this month, the AICF was pursuing one more. To get two out of two wild cards is not only great news for Indian chess but also a validation of how well the FIDE President recognises the growing prowess of these young Grandmasters,” he said.

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With this, the strength of the Indian contingent has gone up to 12 - eight men and four women.

The team:

Men: P. Harikrishna, Vidit Gujrathi, P. Iniyan, B. Adhiban, Aravindh Chithambaram, D. Gukesh, Nihal Sarin and R. Praggnanandhaa.

Women: D. Harika, Padmini Rout, Bhakti Kulkarni and R. Vaishali.

Trainers: Abhijit Kunte and N. Srinath.

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