By Sports Reporter
The 2nd edition of the $12,800 Katara International Chess Tournament 2021 (Online Bullet Tournament) got off to a rousing start with the qualification rounds on Sunday across different time zones around the world.
The worldwide open event is being conducted by the Qatar Chess Federation (QCF) in co-operation with the Cultural Village Foundation – Katara from June 20 to 23.
The qualifying stage saw a whopping 5,143 entries including some of the world’s top and rising stars. The list includes 110 Grandmasters and 223 International Masters.
Besides the seven-time world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway, who is also the defending champion and World No.1 (FIDE Rating 2847), the participation includes several of Russian top stars, namely World No.7 Alexander Grischuk (Rating 2776), Russia’s No.4 Dmitry Andreikin (2724), Russia’s No.7 Daniil Dubov (2714), Russia’s No. 10 Vladislav Artemiev (2704) and No.12 Vladimir Fedosaeev (2696).
Azerbaijan ace and World No. 5 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2770), who just days ago won the 2021 Superbet Chess Classic, is also participating. The other top players from Azerbaijan are Nidjat Mamedov (2609) and Eltaj Safarli (2598).
From USA, the list includes new generation stars like Jeffery Xiong (2709), Ray Robson (2673) and Samuel Sevian (2660), all among America’s top ten.
Other notable players in fray are: GM David Paravyan (Russia), GM Sanan Sjugirov (Russia), GM Maksim Chigaev (Russia), GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov (Uzbekistan), GM Sergei Zhigalko (Belarus), GM Vladislav Kovalev (Belarus), GM Oleksandr Bortnyk (Ukraine), GM Matthias Bluebaum (Germany), GM José Carlos Ibarra Jerez (Spain), and India’s 15-year-old chess prodigy GM Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa.
The qualifiers will see only 15 of these players make the grade to join Carlsen in the final rounds.
The buzzing start — in accordance with the remote playing system via the lichess.org website with the ‘Bullet’ chess system where players are free to join and participate in any time zone they prefer – saw palpable excitement, camaraderie and intense contests with live broadcast.
The final round will be played tomorrow from 6pm Doha time and is expected to attract a large worldwide audience virtually.
The organisation of this tournament online had emerged following Qatar’s precautionary measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) in 2020, but the event has already become a vouched for world event.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
History-seeking Biles makes flawed entrance at Games
Australia’s men rout India 7-1, Netherlands win
Champions Brazil held as Gignac rescues France
Bhuvneshwar shines as India beat Lanka by 38 runs in first T20
Pooran powers West Indies past Australia
Qatar’s beach volleyball pair begin campaign with Swiss precision
Qatar beat El Salvador 3-2 to reach semi-finals
Japan celebrates gold rush on day of upsets
‘Refreshed’ Osaka wins on return as Barty dumped out