Chennai, July 24: The Curtain Raiser Rapid Rating Chess tournament was conducted in the same hall today that will host the 44th Chess Olympiad at Mamallapuram, attracted 1414 entries and created a World record by becoming the largest Open ever where all the games were played on electronic boards. GM Vishnu Prasanna of Tamil Nadu was the highest-rated player in the fray and justified the top billing by notching a fantastic 9/9 in this Swiss League event which carried a prize purse of Rs 500000.
This tournament was supposed to serve as a dress rehearsal for the Chess Olympiad scheduled from 28th July to 10th August. The successful hosting of this event clearly indicates that the venue, arbiters, volunteers and support staff are ready for the Olympiad to begin. If it can be recalled, the All India Chess Federation (AICF) had barely four months to host an event of this magnitude after it was moved from Russia to India because of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
Dr. Sanjay Kapoor, President, of AICF was pretty- pleased with the proceedings said, “We appear to be hitting the Record books with a regularity, which is far more than what we expected. Our hard work is reaping dividend, first with a World record with 187 countries registering, the highest ever in the history of the Olympiad and today this”.
Olympiad Director Bharat Singh Chauhan had a quiet smile as he said, “This is very heartening and motivating as it indicates that we have raced against time and are completely ready to host the Chess Olympiad”.
Today the tournament was closely contested with three players Vishnu Prasanna, IM Ravi Teja of Andhra Pradesh and IM Rahul V S of Tamil Nadu going into the final 9th round with perfect 8/8 scores. The experienced Vishnu Prasanna defeated Ravi Teja in the 9th round while higher rated Rahul ended on the losing side against Kundu Subhayan of West Bengal.