Legendary Anand guides Indian chess players ahead of Asian Games

New Delhi:Five-time World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand has been hired to mentor the Indian players looking to break into the squad for the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, where the sport will make a comeback after a 12-year hiatus.

The All India Chess Federation (AICF) is counting on a rich medal from its players at the Games, which will be held from September 10 to 25.

“Looking at the four gold medals at stake in the matches, the legendary grandmaster Anand took on another role and will guide the team and the first session between him and the players will start next Thursday,” the AICF said in a press release.

The AICF hopes to improve India’s performance at the 2010 Guangzhou Games, where India won two bronze medals.

“The All India Chess Federations started preparation well in advance by selecting 10 likely each for the men’s and women’s team.”

The players are selected based on their international rating.

The likely ones for the men are Vidit Gujarathi, P Harikrishna, Nihal Sarin, SL Narayanan, K Sasikiran, B Adhiban, Karthikeyan Murali, Arjun Erigaisi, Abhijeet Gupta and Surya Shekhar Ganguly.

The women’s team is likely to consist of 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 on the final list of five players in April.

The chess event at the Games will begin on September 11 and will be played in two formats. The men’s and women’s individual event will be played in Rapid time control from September 11 to September 14, while the four-board five-man team event will be played under standard time control from September 16 to September 24.

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