The countdown to the titanic world chess championship between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen of Norway here will start with a blitz tournament in September.
A place that is integral to Chennai will be the venue for the T20 version of the cerebral game: the Marina beach. The Tamil Nadu State Chess Association (TNSCA) has zeroed in on the sands of the Bay of Bengal to whip up interest for the Anand-Carlsen match, starting at Hyatt Regency from November 7.
“We will conduct a series of chess tournaments before the world championship and also alongside it,” said TNSCA secretary V. Hariharan, who added that GM and WGM tournaments would be held during Anand’s big match, besides children and open category events. The state association is aiming to use the world championship to take chess to the masses.
The best players from across the state will take part in the open blitz tournament. The TNSCA has already directed its district units to identify players for the celebration of chess on the Marina. Even though the organisers have an initial plan of restricting entries to 100, the number of participants may eventually be twice as many. The state body also has plans to organise district level open tournaments followed by a state level event.
It may be noted that five-time world champion Anand won the world blitz championship in 2000 and his challenger Carlsen was the world blitz champion nine years later. Both the GMs are known for their lightning play.
While Anand has slowed down a little of late, he is still a player to be reckoned with in lightning chess.
“I am looking forward to the blitz tournament. It will be a great way to start the preparations for the world championship,” said former Tamil Nadu state champion Ram S. Krishnan, who finished second in the national blitz championship last year.
Meanwhile, another blitz event is also scheduled in Chennai. The Chennai District Chess Association will conduct a blitz tournament for those below 2000 elo rating at Ramee Mall on August 31 to pick the top four contenders for a nationwide tournament — Red Bull Battle for the Queen.
The top players from Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai will face off in the national finals at Agra on September 6. On September 7, the national winner will get a chance to challenge former Asian champion Tania Sachdev at Mehtab Bagh with the Taj Mahal providing a backdrop.
What is blitz chess?
In blitz or lightning chess, both the players get only five minutes each to complete a game. The first player to exceed the time limit would be declared lost.
Vaigai Chelvan reviews arrangements
State sports minister Vaigai Chelvan reviewed arrangements for the world chess championship match between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen, to be held in Chennai from November 7, at the secretariat on Wednesday. IAS officers and chess officials attended the meeting.