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Sayantan gets top billing

Calcutta: A total of 380 students from more than 160 schools have confirmed participation in the 21st The Telegraph Schools’ Chess Championship, presented by Himani Sona Chandi Chyawanprash, and organised by Alekhine Chess Club.

The tournament begins Tuesday at Gorky Sadan and will continue till December 8, it was announced at a press conference at the Calcutta Sports Journalists’ Club on Monday.

The ten rounds will be played on a Swiss league format. There are 60 rated players this year, a record for the championship.

Former world under-12 champion Sayantan Das is the top seed with an Elo rating of 2294. He is followed by Satyajit Kundu (2185) and Prince Bajaj (2152). Current Asian under-12 champion Diptayan Ghosh (2124) is seeded fourth.

Current Asian under-8 champion Mitrabha Guha and current Asian under-8 champion Khushi Dharewa are also among the participants.

Aryan Daga, at three years and six months, is the youngest participant, while Garima Gaurav, at three years and 10 months, is the youngest girl at the championship. They will be present at the inauguration along with GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly.

Students from ten states — Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Manipur, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh, besides Bengal — are participating in the event that also includes six entries from Bangladesh.

However, only Taslima Umme has arrived among the Bangladesh participants. The rest have been held back because of visa problems, and will get a first round bye if they finally make it Tuesday.

There are more than 60 outstation participants at this year’s championship.

The tournament carries a total prize money of Rs 1 lakh with the winner taking Rs 20,000, besides a glittering trophy. The runner-up and third placed player will get Rs 15,000 and 12,000, respectively, besides trophies.

There will, in fact, be cash awards for the top-20 finishers. Cups or mementoes will be presented to the first and second placed boys and girls in the under-14, under-12, under-10 and under-8 categories. The best under-6 boy and girls will also be awarded prizes.

Like previous years, there will also be trophies for the best school and the second best school.

THE TOP 10 SEEDS

1. Sayantan Das (Elo rating 2294); 2. Satyajit Kundu (2185); 3. Prince Bajaj (2152); 4. Diptayan Ghosh (2124); 5. Abdullah Al Saif (2058); 6. Chandrasish Majumder (2051); 7. Ikramul Haque Siam (2007); 8. Aubhropratim Manna (1962); 9. Sayan Bose (1958); 10. Samrat Ghorai (1957).

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