sports chess olympiad

Koneru Humpy of India competes with Lei Tingjie of China in a tie-break of the 2019 King Salman World Chess Rapid Women Championship in Moscow, Russia, Dec. 28, 2019. (Xinhua/Maxim Chernavsky/IANS photo)

CHENNAI — Women's World Rapid Chess Champion and World number two in women's chess Grand Master Koneru Humpy and five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand will lead the Indian challenge in the upcoming 44th Chess Olympiad to be held in Moscow in August.

In a statement the All Indian Chess Federation said the Indian open men's team will be trained by former world champion Vladimir Kramnik.

Speaking about the new development, AICF secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan said that this will be India's best chance.

"I think this could be our chance to show the world that we are indeed the new power in chess, we have a string of young grandmasters waiting to be world class players in the years to come and at the top we have some of the finest players today," Bharat Singh Chauhan, secretary, said.

The trainer for the women team is still to be decided. Apart from Anand, P. Harikrishna and Vidit Gujrathi remain a certainty for the men's team.

"It's going to be a close race for the remaining two spots in the five-member team with B. Adhiban having the best chance currently to hold the fourth spot. K. Sasikiran, S.P. Sethuraman, Surya Shekhar Ganguly and Aravindh Chithambaram are the remaining four in contention for a spot in the team," Chauhan said.

In the women's section, Humpy and GM Harika Dronavalli qualify themselves while for the remaining three slots, Tania Sachdev, Bhakti Kulkarni and R. Vaishali, have a strong case.

However, the final decision will be based upon how they perform in the coming months. According to rules the final decision on the composition can be taken only on May 1, 2020, Chauhan said.

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