Giving a further fillip to the game of Kings and Queens among the country’s youth, India will be hosting the World Junior Chess Championship and the Asian Youth Chess Championship this year.
The world event (boys and girls) will be held at Pune Oct 5-20 while the Asian meet for Under-14, 16 and 18 will be held in New Delhi Nov 6-14. The decision to host these two major tournaments was taken at the Annual General Body meeting of the All India Chess Federation (AICF).
“We expect around 250 players to participate in the world junior’s event. We expect players from around 70 foreign countries in the boys segment and around 40 countries in the girls segment,” Maharashtra Chess Association chairman Ravindra M. Dongre said.
“We are in talks with sponsors of the event whose budget will be around Rs.2-2.5 crore,” Dongre, who is also the treasurer for AICF, said.
Queried about the venue, he said talks are on with hotels like J.W. Marriott and Hyatt among others and a final decision will be taken in a couple of days. He added that though it is a junior’s tournament, there will be several young grandmasters — around 20 — who will be participating.
“The first three players will be given the grandmaster title automatically which goes to show the strength of the competing players,” he said, adding that there will be sizeable number of Indians in the fray.
Apart from two official entries, there can be several entries under special category, provided the players have the stipulated FIDE rating. For boys, the minimum rating should be 2,000 ELO points and for girls 1,800 ELO points.
The World Juniors Championship comes at an apt time in India now for the game to gain further popularity.
Indian grandmaster V. Anand will be fighting for the World Chess title against Norway’s Magnus Carlsen in Russia this November.