The world’s top women chess players including the members of the Chess Olympiad medal winning teams will be competing in the Women’s Edition of Tata Steel Chess India, said officials here on Wednesday.
This is the first time a separate women’s section has been added with the prize money equivalent to that of the Open section.
“Tata Steel Chess India (rapid and blitz) is the most important chess tournament in India. In addition to the Open category, this time around a separate Women’s section has been added,” former World Champion Grandmaster V. Anand told media.
In the last edition a couple of Indian women chess players participated in the Open event.
Asked as to the option of expanding the tournament having more women players and with category prizes, Anand said such a move would alter the tournament schedules.
He said that the rating difference between the men and women players is huge and pairing will be skewed against the women players.
“First the upcoming Indian women players should be given the opportunity to play against world’s top women players. Once their rating goes up, they can compete in the Open category,” another official, not wanting to be named, told IANS.
Further many female players like to play in the women’s category than in the Open as the chances of winning the prize money are higher in the former, the official added.
Queried when there will be an Indian ‘Judith Polgar’, Anand said it is a work in progress and will happen.
Hungarian GM Polgar competed in the Open section in chess tournaments and is the first women player to cross the ELO rating of 2,700 and has several achievements to her credit.
Women GMs who have confirmed participation at the Tata Steel Chess India are Anna and Mariya Muzychuk from Ukraine, Nana Dzagnidze from Georgia and Alina Kashlinskaya from Poland apart from Indian stars like GMs K.Humpy, D.Harika and WGM R.Vaishali.
According to Chanakya Chaudhary, Vice President, Corporate Services, Tata Steel, the event will give young Indian talent the opportunity to play against top international GMs.
It is encouraging to witness the increasing level of interest among the Indians for chess, said Jeet Banerjee, Director, Gameplan.
The tournament will be held in Kolkata between November 29 – December 2, 2022.
(Inputs from IANS)