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Tata Steel Chess India Rapid and Blitz 2020 cancelled owing to Covid-19 pandemic

by Shahid Ahmed - 19/11/2020

Tata Steel Chess India was the first Super tournament to take place in India in the year 2018. The previous iteration in 2019 was part of the Grand Chess Tour and witnessed the participation of world champion Magnus Carlsen and also the first Official Fischer Random world champion Wesley So. Nakamura and Anand - the winner of first Tata Steel Chess India Rapid and Blitz respectively in 2018 also returned for the second consecutive year. Many chess players, enthusiasts of the sport were looking forward to the third edition of this great spectacle to make its return this year, however due to the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, much to the dismay of the entire chess universe, it had to be cancelled keeping in view of health and safety concerns. Photo: Official site

Tata Steel Chess India 2019 at National Library Kolkata | Photo: Tata Steel Chess India official site

Keeping in view the health and safety of all concerned during the current COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 edition of Tata Steel Chess India Rapid and Blitz tournament has been cancelled.


Tata Steel Chess India Rapid and Blitz, India’s first chess super tournament, has grown over the last two editions to become a destination tournament on the global chess calendar. With many other firsts to its credit -- such as World Champion Magnus Carlsen participating in - and winning - the 2019 edition, being part of the Grand Chess Tour and hosting 10 Grandmasters, the tournament enjoys huge popularity amongst chess professionals, chess journalists and chess lovers.


Commenting on the cancellation of the tournament this year, Chanakya Chaudhary, Vice President, Corporate Services, Tata Steel, said: “Tata Steel is a proud associate of the game of chess worldwide. The first two editions of the Tata Steel Chess India event have met with huge success and future editions of the same are poised to further grow in stature and popularity. In view of the pandemic, and to ensure safety and well-being of Chess enthusiasts & the sports fraternity at large, we have taken a considered view of cancelling the tournament this year. We look forward to better days ahead for everyone and hope to come back next year with renewed zeal and yet another memorable edition.”


Jeroen Van den Berg, Director of the Tata Steel Chess tournaments in both Wijk aan Zee and Kolkata, said: “Being in Kolkata for the past two years for the Tata Steel Chess India Rapid and Blitz has been an experience like no other. More than anything else, it is the enthusiasm and knowledge of the fans that make the tournament what it is. Unfortunately, the pandemic has forced us to rethink our plans and we regret that we have to cancel the tournament this year.”


Jeet Banerjee, Director of Gameplan Sports Pvt. Ltd., the organisers of the tournament, said: “We remain focused on delivering Tata Steel Chess India Rapid and Blitz 2021 in a way that brings together the chess community in a grand celebration of the game of kings. We are sure we will be back in 2021 with a great line-up and another engaging version of the chess super tournament.”



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