20th November to 15th December in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia
Spearheaded by Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran, the seven-member Indian contingent is upbeat about their prospects in the World Chess Cup.
Sasikiran will be the top Indian in the fray in the absence of Pentala Harikrishna who did not make to this year’s World Cup through qualification-by-rating. Sasikiran will open his campaign against young Dutch GM Erwin L’Ami and a tough contest seems well on cards wherein Sasi holds the edge.
National and Asian champion Surya Shekhar Ganguly has his task cut out against Anton Filippov who has had some tremendous results of late, including a tied second finish at the Kolkata Open in early September. Ganguly, with his deep opening knowledge and the obvious advantage of working with Viswanathan Anand, starts as a big favourite and the only concern on his mind would be Filippov’s form.
The event will also see other Indian stars like 2008 world junior champion Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta and runner’s up Parimarjan Negi in action. Sandipan Chanda, Abhijeet Kunte and International Master Sriram Jha complete the Indian challenge.
The world cup as usual is a money feast with the first round loser getting $6000 and the money will keep increasing as the players proceed to the next rounds.
Wesley So, Rogelio Antonio Jr. and Darwin Laylo will represent Philippines in the World Chess Cup that is starting in two days in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.
“We’re ready. We’ve been preparing long and hard for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play against the world’s best,” said Antonio, the most-experienced player in the three-man Filipino delegation in the knockout-style tournament.
So, the country’s highest-rated player with an ELO of 2640, gets his baptism of fire in the world’s biggest chess stage against GM Gadir Guseinov of Azerbaijan. The 15-year-old pride of St. Francis College-Cavite is seeded 59th overall, while Guseinov is ranked 70th.
Antonio (ELO 2574) and Laylo (ELO 2552) will play a pair of experienced and higher-rated opponents. Antonio, who earned a berth to this prestigious tournament with his strong showing in the Asian Individual Chess Championship held in Subic early this year, will battle No. 27 GM Gata Kamsky of the US in one of 64 first-round matches.
Laylo, who clinched his second straight trip to the World Cup by topping the Asian Zone 3.3 championship in Vietnam also this year, will challenge No. 21 seed GM David Navara of the Czech Republic.