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Players from 24 countries will take part in the inaugural Maharashtra International Open Grandmaster Chess Tournament in Pune

Maharashtra’s inaugural Grandmaster International Open chess tournament will kick off at the Shri Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Baner-Mahalunge Road, Pune on Tuesday.

The week-long international chess tournament for players rated above Elo 2000 will see the participation of 140 players from 24 countries. 17 Grandmasters (GM), 29 International Masters (IM) and several WGMs will compete for top honors.

The tournament is organized by the Maharashtra Chess Association (MCA) under the auspices of the All India Chess Federation (AICF).

Dr. Parinay Fuke, President, MCA, and Niranjan Godbole, Secretary, MCA, were delighted with the huge response received for the event.

The competition, which will be played from May 31 to June 8, will be an 11-round Swiss League. It attracted players from Tajikistan, Belarus, Georgia, Azerbaijan, United States, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, in addition to the best Indian players in the event.

Pune Chess Tournament will offer prize money of over ₹20 lakhs

The tournament will offer a total purse of ₹20 lakhs ($26,000). It will be one of the best platforms for upcoming players to seek standards and an opportunity to improve the rating of title players.

GM Farukh Amonatov of Tajikistan, with an Elo rating of 2622, is the first seed in the event. Highly decorated GM Lalith Babu (2563), who has won a record 20 gold medals in international events, will spearhead India’s challenge as India’s top scrum.

Prominent players to watch at the Maharashtra International Open are IM Bhakti Kulkarni, IM Soumya Swaminathan, WGM Mary Ann Gomes and WGM Divya Deshmukh.

All are holders of the women’s national title and, interestingly, will be the focus of all eyes as they represent India at the upcoming Chess Olympiad scheduled for Chennai.

WGM Priyanka Nutakki is another new face to watch. Another interesting player to watch is teenage talent Aditya Mittal.

The Maharashtra International Open will be inaugurated on May 31 by former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Leader of the Opposition in State Assembly Devendra Fadnavis and Maharashtra Sports Minister Sunil Kedar.

MCA President Parinay Fuke; incumbent President Siddharth Mayur; Grand Master Abhijit Kunte; Senior Vice President Aniruddha Deshpande; Vice President Girish Chitale; AICF Vice President and Secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan will be the guest of honour.

Ashok Jain, former president and mentor of the Maharashtra Chess Association, will also be present for the occasion.

Massive response to Pune Open Chess tournament, to be held alongside Maharashtra International Open

Over 455 participants from seven countries including India have confirmed their participation in the first Pune Open Chess Tournament for players rated below Elo 2000. The Pune Open Chess Tournament will be held concurrently with Maharashtra International Open Grandmaster Chess.

The event will run from June 1-4 and will be played at Boxing Hall, Shri Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Baner-Mahalunge Road, Mahalunge, Balewadi, Pune. MCA President Parinay Fuke expressed his joy at hosting the event.

“We are happy to organize the Pune Open Chess Championship for players who have not crossed the FIDE rating of 2000 in the last 36 months. This will help many juniors to make rankings and participate with players from all over in the country.”

The event will offer a total prize pool of ₹10 lakhs and will be played under FIDE chess laws for a total of 10 rounds on a Swiss League basis.

Edited by Akshay Saraswat

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