Calcutta: Around 240 players, including eight from Bangladesh, will take part in the grand finals of XVI The Telegraph Schools’ Chess Championship starting at Gorky Sadan from Sunday.
The tournament, which concludes on September 3, will be played in an 11-round Swiss League format.
The tournament over the years has produced two Grandmasters — Surya Sekhar Ganguly and Sandipan Chanda — and one Woman Grandmaster in Nisha Mohota.
The championship, organised by Alekhine Chess Club, remains the only schools’ chess meet in the country rated by Fide, which means players have a chance to collect Elo rating points.
A total of 151 schools from ten states — Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand, Assam, Manipur, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Delhi, besides Bengal — will be represented.
At a press conference on Friday evening, Alekhine Chess Club president Asoke Ghosh said that though the number of entries had been restricted to 220 previously, the overwhelming response has forced the addition of more to the list.
As before, there will be qualifiers from the Guwahati, Bhubaneswar and Jamshedpur legs. Three visually handicapped participants — Sudip Rajbanshi, Ganesh Kisku, Naresh Pramanik — are also in the fray.
Behala Shikshayatan’s Arko Narayan Ganguly, at three years and two months, will be the youngest boy at the championship. The youngest girl is Tamishra Das at five years and 11 months.
Twenty-eight rated players are taking part, Rahul Sangma (2282) is the highest rated and top seed. Tejdeep Adabala (2157) is second, followed by defending champion Joydeep Dutta (2150).
A late entrant has been national under-7 girls champion, S. Chandana Priya Reddy, informed Soumen Mazumder, secretary, Alekhine Chess Club.
The eight entries from Bangladesh are Minhazuddin Ahmed Sagar (2100), Mahfuzur Rahman Shahin (2130), Shamima Akter Liza (2048), Kishoara Sajrin Evana, Shamin Sultana Shirin, Farjana Hossain Anne, Mimi Arjuman and Kamrul Islam.
The meet offers Rs 50,000 in total prize money, the winner bagging Rs 15,000 and the runner-up Rs 10,000.