After a hiatus of almost 15 months, Indian Grandmaster (GM) Viswanathan Anand will play his first chess game over the board on Tuesday in the Croatia Grand Chess Tour Rapid and Blitz tournament in Zagreb.
The tournament will feature 10 elite GMs competing over nine rounds of quick chess and 18 rounds of blitz. In Quick Chess, each player has 25 minutes to complete the game with a 10 second increment time added after each move. In the blitz game, players will have five minutes to play with a two second increment time added after each hit.
The added attraction in the blitz section is the presence of chess legend and former world champion Garry Kasparov, who enters as a generic player invited by the organizers.
Anand and Kasparov fought many memorable battles, including the final of the PCA World Championships on the 107th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City in September-October 1995.
Anand will compete in the quick and blitz competitions in Croatia.
Anand has been in Croatia for a few days, acclimating to and complying with regulations related to COVID-19 protocols. The fast section will be played July 7-9 while the blitz games will take place July 10-11.
The 51-year-old chess maestro from Chennai hopes to perform well in board games after being fairly active in online chess.
He helped India finish first with Russia at the FIDE Online Chess Olympics last year. He has also run training and education programs for WestBridge Anand Chess Academy (WACA) and has also helped some of the country’s future players.
The 2021 edition of the Grand Chess Tour (GCT) – a series of classic, quick and blitz tournaments with a prize pool of $ 1.5 million involving the best players in the world – includes two classic events and three rapids and blitz. The GCT, which was launched in 2015, did not take place last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two events – the Superbet Chess Classic (June 3-15) and Paris GCT Rapid and Blitz (June 16-23) – have already taken place while two others – Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz (August 9-16) and Sinquefield Cup ( August 16-28) – will take place next month in Saint Louis, USA.