Sixteen foreign Grand Masters led by top-seed Timur Gareyev of USA head the field in the 10th Chennai Open International Grandmaster Chess Tournament 2018, which begins here tomorrow.
Garayev is expected to face a stiff challenge from GM Ivan Rozum of Russia, the second seed and experienced GM Sergei Tiviakov of The Netherlands, the third seed.
Apart from the 16 foreign GMs, 18 International Masters from abroad are among a total of 260 players who will be vying for honours in the tournament that offers a total prize money of Rs 11 lakh, organisers said today.
The champion will receive Rs two lakh while the runner-up will get Rs 1.5 lakh.
The Indian contingent will be spearheaded by GM-elect and International Master P Karthikeyan of ICF with a rating of 2497, followed by teammate GM Deepan Chakkravarthy and IM N R Visakh, all from Tamil Nadu.
GM R R Laxman and IM S Nitin both from Tamil Nadu, representing ICF are among the top 20 players.
Saptarshi Roy Choudhury from Kolkata is another Indian Grand Master in the fray.
In the women's section, the host challenge will be led by Nagpur's wonder girl Divya Deshmukh, the current Under-12 World Champion and WIM Michelle Catherina P of Tamil Nadu.
The trophy is named after Dr N Mahalingam, a past President of All India Chess Federation, who has rendered yeomen service to the game.
The tournament offers Indian players an opportunity to earn Grand Master and International Master norms and also improve their rating, the organisers said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)