By Venkatachari Jagannathan
Chennai, Dec 9 (IANS) A strong Indian chess cadet contingent is gearing up to take on other Asian rivals from Dec 11 onwards in the first leg of the FIDE Online World Cadets & Youth (Under 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18) Rapid Chess Championships, said the team coach.
The players are in two categories – open and girls.
“We are expecting many Indian players to qualify for the knockout stage. The Asian leg will be for three days starting December 11 and ending on December 13,” team coach Grandmaster (GM) M. Shyam Sundar told IANS.
The Indian contingent in the open category consists of GMs D. Gukesh, Sadhwani Raunak (Under 16 and 18), P. Iniyan (Under 18) apart from others.
The girls’ section is spearheaded by International Master (WIM) Divya Deshmukh, Woman Fide Master (WFM) Savitha Shri B (Under 16 and 18), Vantika Agrawal (Under 18) and IM Rakshitta Ravi (Under 16) apart from others in other age categories.
“The players have been requested to have two net connections so that if one gets disrupted the other one can kick in quickly,” Sundar said.
It may be recalled that the All India Chess Federation (AICF) was ready to house the Indian Olympiad players in star hotels when some players had lost their games due to power disruption.
According to Sundar, practice tournaments are held for the players so that they are tuned to the online rapid games.
“With no offline tournaments for the past eight months, many foreign players would have had time to prepare newer lines and they are expected to play those variations at the championship,” he added.
“In order that the Indian juniors do not get stumped by the new variations and to give a comfort level, we give the board to two Indian players to play their practice game after making the first ten moves. This way the juniors will not get tensed up when they see a new position on the board at the championship,” Sundar said.
According to him, two camps have been held of for the Indian contingent.
Meanwhile, two GMs — Erigaisi Arjun and Prithu Gupta — will not be playing for India.
“I am in 12th standard and there are school exams and hence will not be able to play,” Arjun said.
Gupta will not be playing this time around owing to stomach infection, said Sundar.