Five-time chess world champion Viswanathan Anand has been roped in as a mentor of the Indian players looking to break into the team for the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, where the sport will make a comeback after a gap of 12 years.
The All India Chess Federation (AICF) is eyeing a rich medal haul from its players at the Games, which are scheduled to be held from September 10 to 25.
“Eyeing the four gold medals at stake in the games, the legendary Grandmaster Anand took a different role and will mentor the team and the first session between him and the players will kick start next Thursday,” the AICF said in a release.
The AICF is hoping to improve on India’s performance at the 2010 Guangzhou Games, where India won two bronze medals.
“The All India Chess Federations started the preparation well in advance by selecting 10 probable each for the men and women’s team.” The players have been selected on the basis of their international rating.
The probable for the men’s include, Vidit Gujarathi, P Harikrishna, Nihal Sarin, S L Narayanan, K Sasikiran, B Adhiban, Karthikeyan Murali, Arjun Erigaisi, Abhijeet Gupta and Surya Shekhar Ganguly.
The women’s team probable comprises Koneru Humpy, D Harika, Vaishali R, Tania Sachdev, Bhakti Kulkarni, Vantika Agrawal, Mary Ann Gomes, Soumya Swaminathan and Eesha Karavade.
The selection committee consisting of Abhijit Kunte, Dibeyandu Barua and Dinesh Sharma will decide the final list of five players in April.
The chess event at the Games will start on September 11 and will be played in two formats. The individual event for men and women will be played in Rapid time control from September 11 to 14 September while four board five-member team event will be played under Standard time control from September 16 to September 24.