The 9th edition of the annual Chennai Open Grandmaster Chess tournament 2017 for the Sakthi Group Dr N Mahalingam Trophy is organised by the Tamil Nadu State Chess Association, under the auspices of All India Chess Federation. This mega Chennai event scheduled to begin on Wednesday, 18th January, 2017 at the New Media Hall, Nehru Stadium, Chennai has attracted 306 players from 17 countries, including 16 Grandmasters, 2 Woman Grandmasters, 17 International Masters and 5 Woman International Masters, among 64 titled players.
Grandmaster Alberto David (Italy) with an ELO rating of 2569 is the top seed. GM David has played back to back tournaments in Mumbai and Delhi, before arriving in Chennai to complete a hat-trick of tournaments in India. He is likely to face stiff challenge from an experienced bunch of GMs from Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Belgium, Egypt, Bangladesh and Vietnam.
The Indian battalion will be headed by former world junior bronze medallist & Grandmaster Sahaj Grover from New Delhi. Chennai based Grandmasters M R Venkatesh and R R Laxman will join Sahaj in leading the Indian challenge. 15 International Masters from India looking to achieve Grandmaster Norms, add up to the interesting tournament card. Leading them would be Nagercoil based International Master Shyaamnikhil P.
The tournament offers a total prize money of Rs 1100000 (Rupees Eleven lakhs only), with the winner being awarded a cash prize of Rs 200000 (Rupees Two lakhs only) along with the Chennai Open GM trophy. The runner-up and third placed players take home Rs 150000 & Rs 100000 respectively. Further, the Top 60 finishers are awarded handsome cash prizes.
The tournament is a great opportunity to achieve Grandmaster Norms and International Masters Norms for the talented crop of Indian youngsters. The ten round Swiss tournament begins with the inaugural round scheduled for tomorrow. Top board games would be webcast LIVE through http://tamilchess.com
The tournament is set to be inaugurated by Shri D V Sundar, Vice President, FIDE (World Chess Federation), in the presence of Arjuna Awardee International Master Manuel Aaron, who would be Guest of Honour at 1 AM tomorrow at the New Media Hall, Nehru Stadium, Chennai. Shri B Murugavel, Vice President, Tamil Nadu State Chess Association, will preside over the inauguration function.