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Viswanathan Anand to mentor Indian players as Tata Steel Chess returns to Kolkata | Chess News


KOLKATA: Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand will play the role of a mentor to the Indian youngsters at the third Tata Steel Chess India Rapid and Blitz tournament, starting from November 17.
The Indian challenge will be spearheaded by Vidit Gujrathi, Adhiban Baskaran and Dronavalli Harika.
Leading the young brigade are Nihal Sarin, R Praggnanandhaa, Karthikeyan Murali, D Gukesh, Raunak Sadhwani, Arjun Erigaisi and R Vaishali.
“I will interact with the youngsters, try to give them some tips and try to spur them on,” Anand, who won the blitz tournament in the inaugural edition in 2018, said during a virtual media interaction on Saturday.
As an ambassador of the event, Anand will also be part of the commentary team.
“The itch is always going to be there to play, but recently I’ve been dabbling a bit in commentary and find that enjoyable too.
“I will see this tournament from another angle and will be trying to explain what’s going on. I can also do a bit of commentary here and there. Basically, I will be all over the place,” Anand said.
He will also be seen doing commentary during the upcoming World Championships in Dubai from November 24.
In the absence of Norwegian great Magnus Carlsen and Russian GM Ian Nepomniachtchi who are preparing for the World Championships, world number 10 Levon Aronian will be the top draw of the meet.
The draw will also feature other Super Grandmasters including US gold-medal winning Olympiad member Sam Shankland, former world junior champion Parham Maghsoodloo of Iran and former world blitz and reigning Asian champion Le Quang Liem of Vietnam among others.
“There will be a new element of youth and women players participating this time,” said Chanakya Chaudhary, vice-president (corporate services) of Tata Steel.
This year the rapid competition has evolved into a rating tournament while the blitz competition remains a tournament for amateurs as well.
The tournament invited registrations from 150 players per format and entries completed within a day.
The tournament was postponed last year because of the COVID-19 outbreak as it’s back at the iconic National Library.
“We will ensure all COVID protocols are maintained. We are happy to organise a physical chess event after the almost exclusively virtual life we have been living,” director of local organisers Gameplan, Jeet Banerjee said.

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