02 Sep 2017
Chess World Cup to start today
They say, 'When the going gets tough, the tough get going.'
Well, there certainly isn't a better time for the tough to get going as the annual Chess World Cup starts today.
The 128-player knockout tournament features the who's who of the chess universe striving to grab the top spot and cement their place in history.
Let us find out more about the tournament.
The games to begin on Sunday
Dubbed as the tournament of the year with the strongest participants, the first round of Chess World Cup 2017 takes off on Sunday in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Chess is one of the few games played in a gender blind scenario, so there will be quite a few interesting match-ups to look forward to.
The final games will be held between 23rd to 27th September.
Importance of the World Cup this year
The importance of this year's World Cup over previous editions is that a lot of strong players who usually give the tournament a miss, will be taking part this year.
The reason for the same is that this is the last attempt to qualify for the Candidates tournament in 2018.
So everyone will give their fair share of fight for the top prize.
The prodigal son returns
Anand returns to the tournament after a gap of 15 years.
Incidentally, the 3 Chess World Cups he has taken part in, Anand has won 2!
But he can expect a good fight from the field this year.
Giving the Grand Prix series a miss, he will have to fight tooth and nail to qualify for the Candidates through the World Cup route.
Clash of giants
Anish Giri, one of the promising young talents, faces up to Nana Dzagnidze, who has a wealth of experience.
Vishy Anand will hope for a win against Malaysian topper Yeoh Li Tan in his first round match.
Odds are hugely skewed towards Hou Yifan, the queen of chess against Kacper Piorun, the four-time problem-solving world champion
India's way forward
P Harikrishna is India's best bet after Anand. Having broken into the top 10 last year, he is in good form.
V. S. Gujrathi, only the fourth Indian to cross the 2700 Elo Rating mark come September, is also one to watch out for.
B Adhiban is a surprise package who might turn out to produce some much needed fireworks.
Keep your eyes peeled
If you are looking for consistent high-quality chess, look no further.This tournament promises to be the highlight of the year. Be prepared for some surprises along the way.
It's been many years since a World Cup of such importance. Indians have a good chance, traditionally performing well across all boards here.
Let's keep our fingers crossed for Anand.