LEADING Grandmasters started arriving in Bahrain last night for the Arcapita International Chess Championship which gets underway today at the Alumni Club in Adliya.
This is the biggest chess event to be hosted on the island with a total prize fund of BD6,000, according to the organisers of the event Bahrain Chess Club and its chief organiser Jamal Abdulghaffar.
“More than a dozen GMs and twice that number of IM’s from more than a dozen countries will be taking part in this event. We expect over 100 entries with at least half of this number coming locally,” added Abdulghaffar.
The top player in the fray is GM Pavel Tregubov with an ELO rating of 2,646 points. The Russian is also the president of the Association of Chess Professionals which was founded by former world champion Garry Kasparov.
The only Women Grandmaster in the fray will be Anna Zozulia, who has an ELO rating of 2,388. She is originally from Ukraine but is now a Belgian and her husband Vadim Malakhatko, who also holds a Belgian passport, will be the second seed with an ELO rating of 2,634.
Among other top attractions will be the Egyptian youngsters GM Basem Amen (2,560) and GM Ahmed Adly (2,586). The former is the reigning Arab champion and the latter a top under-20 player.
The Indian challenge will be led by Sriram Jha (2,458) and include Dinesh Sharma (2,394) and Rahul Shetty.
“It’s going to be a very strong field with a good mix of young and old, GMs and IMs,” said Abdulghaffar.
Bahrain’s first Fide master Zeyad Janahi will lead the local challenge along with Ali Al Salaiti, Ali Al Ghasrah and Ayyad brothers, Maher and Hussain. Aysha Almutayweq, Dalal Al Ghasrah and Abeer Bin Raja will be among the leading ladies in the fray.
The championship will be played over nine rounds under Fide (world chess federation) rules and regulations and the ‘Swiss Manager Programme’ will be used for pairings.
Time Control is 90 minutes plus 30 seconds increment from move one.
The first round will start soon after the opening ceremony starting at 6pm today.
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