Adhiban starts as the top seed in Indian Champions Chess Tour Qualifier
Indian Qualifier for the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour starts today 7th May from 3 p.m. IST onwards. Top two finishers will qualify to the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour. Adhiban will be the highest rated player in the event. He is joined by Sasikiran, Sethuraman, Aravindh, Ganguly, Abhijeet, Karthikeyan Murali and Harika. The remaining eight players are top seven finishers in Vidit Chess Tour. They are - Gukesh, Aronyak, Arjun Erigaisi, Harsha, Visakh, Praggnanandhaa, Mitrabha and the Asian Continental Blitz 2019 champion Nihal Sarin who has been super impressive against the world champion a fortnite ago. Photo: chess24
16 players vie for two spots in Meltwater Champions Chess Tour
Adhiban Baskaran will be the highest rated player in the 16-player fray where everyone will fight for the top two spots. The finalists of the Indian Qualifiers will earn their way in Meltwater Champions Chess Tour.
Harikrishna, Vidit and Praggnanandhaa are three Indians among 30 players to have participated in the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour already. While Adhiban is the highest rated player in the event, the remaining players are from the Indian top 15 are - Krishnan Sasikiran, Sethuraman S P, Aravindh Chithambaram, Surya Sekhar Ganguly, Abhijeet Gupta, Polgar Challenge winner Praggnanandhaa, Karthikeyan Murali. They will be joined by Vidit Chess Tour champion Gukesh D, runner-up IM Aronyak Ghosh, Arjun Erigaisi, Visakh N R, Harsha Bharathakoti, the only other IM in the event Mitrabha Guha and the sole female participant of the event is three-time Women's World Championship Bronze medalist Harika Dronavalli.
GM Narayanan S L is the only player who finished in top eight of Vidit Chess Tour, will miss the event due to his RT-PCR result coming positive. However upon reaching out to him, we got to know that he is doing better and almost recovered.
The qualifier will be played in a knockout format on chess24, the same format as the Champions Chess Tour, except that each match takes place over only one day. There are four 15+10 rapid games, with a playoff if a match ends 2-2. The playoff consists of two 5+3 blitz games followed by, if needed, Armageddon, where White has 5 minutes to Black’s 4, but a draw counts as a win for Black.
Aronyak and Mitrabha have the toughest challenge in the Round of 16 as they are the only two IMs in the event. They will go against the top two highest rated players among 16 - Adhiban and Sasikiran respectively. However both of them have already proved their mettle, when an opportunity arises, they are very much ready to seize them. Karthikeyan (2606) and Praggnanandhaa (2608) is the closest battle on paper as their rating difference is almost negligible. Nihal Sarin will go against his good friend Arjun Erigaisi in the very first round which is also a rematch from the Super Juniors Cup finals.
Champions Chess Tour official site