India to clash with China in team chess tournament
Chennai, Feb 26 (IANS) India and China, the two chess Olympic medal winning teams, will fight it out between March 1-10 at Hyderabad in an exclusive Indo-China match, the All India Chess Federation (AICF) said here Thursday.
Interestingly, for the first time in history, the two Asian chess giants will be locked in the battle of boards in such an exclusive summit.
In a statement, the AICF said India and China will play a 32-game match spread over eight rounds. Under the system, each Indian player will take on his Chinese counterpart twice, once with white pieces and again with black pieces. Each team will field four players.
"The AICF is funding the Rs.10 lakh prize money event. There is no title sponsor. The event will be held at Radisson Blu Hotel," AICF chief Bharat Singh Chauhan told IANS.
India had finished third at the Tromso Olympiad at Norway, winning their maiden bronze while China had won its maiden gold at the same Olympiad in August 2014.
In the Indian line-up are Krishnan Sasikiran, M.R. Lalith Babu, B. Adhiban and national champion S.P. Sethuraman while the Chinese are fielding Ding Liren, Wang Chen, Wei Yi and Zhou Jianchoa.
In the 2012 Asian Nations Cup held at Zaozhuang, China won the title but the clash against India was entertaining. India won both its two white boards and China reciprocated the same for a 2-2 score. All four games were decisive.
Any country engaging China in team chess will stand to gain in the long run as it will count as exposure and experience. China's main strength is in team and women events.
This summit will help India test their potential in handling stronger opponents. Both would again face each other next in the World Team Championship in Armenia in April.