Goa Chess Association (GCA) is set to launch the second edition of Goa International Grandmaster Chess tournament from June 18 to 25 at the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee indoor stadium in Taleigao declared GCA chairman Nilesh Cabral during a press conference in the city on Thursday.
After the success tasted in the first edition of the tournament last year , GCA has decided to raise th bar for participation this year by substantially increasing the prize money – from Rs 34 lakh to Rs 53 lakh and to restrict the A category to players with 2000 rating and above.
“The idea to increase the bar in participation in A Category was to add glamour to the tournament; to attract more quality players,” Nilesh told journalists during the interaction.
Thirty six Grandmasters (GMs), according to the organisers, have already confirmed participation, to make it the biggest GM participation in any tournament in India. “Six super GM’s having ratings of 2600 and above are participating in the tournament, making it another first in Goa,” disclosed Nilesh.
Goa GM Anurag Mhamal has confirmed his participation and according to secretary Santosh Bandekar, “he will not be leaving the tournament midway,” due to prior commitments. Woman GM Bhakti Kulkarni, according to Santosh, “is not able to confirm participation,” as she is participating in the Asian Continental Chess championship which concludes on June 16.
950 players have registered for the tournament till Thursday and the organisers expect the number to increase as the tournament date nears.
“The tournament is to facilitate Goans get an opportunity to participate at another level where they can not only physically play with outside players but get a chance to improve their rating by participating in a tournament being held in their State,” added Nilesh.