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Chess knights to shine at Eden Gardens

It’s not confirmed yet whether they would ring the Eden bell during the visit
Viswanathan Anand
Viswanathan Anand
Telegraph picture

A Staff Reporter   |   Calcutta   |   Published 07.11.19, 09:29 PM

Reigning and former world chess champions Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand will be at the Eden during one of the five days when India host Bangladesh in the historic Day-Night pink-ball Test, starting November 22.

It’s not confirmed yet whether the duo would ring the Eden bell during the visit.

Calrsen and Anand would be participating at the Tata Steel Chess India — Rapid & Blitz 2019, the penultimate leg of the Grand Chess Tour starting from November 22 to 26 at the National Library, the same dates Eden would host the historic Test. Anand had already been invited for the Day-Night Test, but the Carlson angle became public during the chess media conference when a tournament official spilled the beans.

“The BCCI has invited Carlsen to ring the Eden bell and if time permits, he along with Anand will be seen at the stadium during one of the five days,” a tournament official said on Thursday.

Working out the logistics could be a concern as the timings of both the events too are almost clashing, one of the organisers pointed out. “While the Test will get underway at 1 pm, the day’s proceedings at the National Library, the venue for the chess tournament, will start at 2 pm. So let’s see…” he said.

Later in the evening, Cricket Association of Bengal joint secretary Avishek Dalmiya said: “Both Carlsen and Anand would be at the Eden but whether on the first day or second is not confirmed yet.”

Talking about the Grand Chess Tour (GCT), it visits Asia for the first time and the world’s top 10 players will match wits during the rapid and blitz meet. Anand will also be playing Carlsen for the first time in India since his 2013 World Championship defeat in Chennai.

Anand needs 13 points from the remaining two legs to seal a spot in the GCT Finals, which carries a prize purse of $350,000 and will be held in London from November 30 to December 10.

The other GMs at the meet are Ding Liren (China), Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia), Levon Aronian (Armenia), Anish Giri (the Netherlands), Wesley So and Hikaru Nakamura (both US) and Indian wild cards Pentala Harikrishna and Vidit Gujrathi. 

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