Anand to lead strongest team India in online Chess Olympiad

India has not hosted a major chess event ever since the Vishawanathan Anand-Magnus Carlsen duel in 2013
India has not hosted a major chess event ever since the Vishawanathan Anand-Magnus Carlsen duel in 2013.

Five-time world Champion Viswanathan Anand will lead the Indian team in the second online Chess Olympiad. The event is scheduled to be held from September 8 to 15.

The Indian team that jointly won the gold medal alongside main competitors Russia will be looking at repeating the feat and this time, stated a Press release. India is also eyeing a gold.

For the first time ever, the Indian team has got an official sponsorship. One of pioneers of Wi-Fi Internet providers in the country, MICROSENSE, will be the key sponsor.

This time the team comprises Anand, Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, P Harikrishna, B Adhiban, Nihal Sarin, R Pragganandhaa, Koneru Humpy, D Harika, Tania Sachdev, Bhakti Kulkarni, R Vaishali and  B Savitha Shri. Former national champion and British Chess Championship winner Grandmaster Abhijit Kunte has been appointed as non-playing vice captain of the team.

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The Indian Chess Federation has ensured the best for the team. All the players will be provided a single room in a five star hotel in Chennai from where all the matches will be played. Contrary to the last Olympiad, a three tier internet connection along with support from two Grand Masters – D Gukesh and N Srinath has been done to make the team achieve another gold medal.

The first leg is scheduled to have ten teams from which two teams qualify and thereafter a knockout format has been decided by FIDE, the apex chess body.

All the games will be available live for the chess buffs.

“To bring the team together in one place is a dream come true in present times. We do not give any pressure, our aim is to have a healthy atmosphere where the team get along well”, said AICF President Sanjay Kapoor about providing the extra facility.

“This is only the beginning of many more good things to come for Indian chess. We are working in several departments to bring the benefits of the game and our aim is simple – to make India the number one chess playing nation in the world”, said Bharat Singh Chauhan, the honorary secretary of the federation.

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