Russia Grand Master Alexandr Predke will be the top-seed and title favourite in the 11th Chennai Open International Chess Tournament 2019 for the Sakthi Group Dr N Mahalingam Trophy, to be held here from January 18. The 25-year-old Russian GM with a FIDE rating of 2620 will be challenged, among others, by fellow Russian GMs Ivan Rozum and Ivan Popov.
The tournament has attracted players from 14 foreign countries, the organisers said here Wednesday. They include 21 Grand Masters and 28 International Masters, 2 Women Grandmasters and 5 Women International Masters. The Indian challenge will be led by GMs Erigaisi Arjun, Deepan Chakkravarthy, M R Venkatesh, Sundararajan Kidambi, R R Laxman, Neelotpal Das, Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury and Karthik Venkataraman among others.
This annual event, organised by Tamil Nadu State Chess Association carries a total prize money of Rs 15 lakh with the winner set to take home Rs three lakh, apart from a trophy. The runner-up would receive Rs two lakh cash prize. The 10-round tournament to be played on a Swiss system offers Grandmaster norm and International Master norm chances for title aspirants.
(With inputs from agencies.)