The Athens of the East International Grandmaster Chess Tournament, organised by the Ananthi Chess Academy, Madurai, got off to a grand start at Poppys hotel, Madurai on 11th August, 2019. The star studded field, comprising players from eleven countries is headed by the four times Commonwealth champion Abhijeet Gupta of PSPB in the seeding list (rating 2616), followed by the Russian grandmasters Boris Savchenko (2576) and Pavel Smirnov (2574) and the fourth seed is Adam Tukhaev of Ukraine (2541). Many young Indian players have the golden opportunity to achieve the international title norms, a pathway to get the titles.
The tournament was inaugurated by P Stephen Balasamy General Secretary, Tamil Nadu State Chess Association in the presence of P. Pragadesh, the Tournament Director. The quickest win of the first round came from Pavel Smirnov against Soundarya Kumar Pradhan, who won the silver medal in the World Junior Championship for the blind in 2018.
In the B category tournament held at Arunachalam Kamalambalfor hall for players having a rating below 1700, six players are leading with five points from five rounds. Four players from Tamil Nadu – V. Prem Anantha Rajan, M. Ragesh Sarma, Adithya Ramesh and N Sasikumar, Rajat Yadav of MP and Phani Kanuri of AP are the perfect scorers. Twelve players are on the second spot with 4.5 points.