International Chess Festival is all set to take place here from May 31 to June 7. This will be the 12th edition of the tournament organised under three categories as per the FIDE rankings. “12th KIIT International GM Festival starting from 31st May and should be concluded on 7th June. This is being organised under three category: A, B and C category respectively. Players who have a FIDE rating of 2000 and above will play in category A, FIDE rating of 1900 and below will play in category B, and players having FIDE rating 1600 and below will play in category C,” said Ranjan Mohanty, Vice President of All Odisha Chess Association.

The tournament is receiving great response from around the globe, with over fifty foreign players, including some top names, participating. “Eduardo Bonelli of Venezuela is the top-seed player, till now 19 grandmasters have confirmed. Fifty-four foreign players are confirmed and registration is going on and so many players are also registering,” Mohanty said. “As of now in category A, 270 players from different countries of the world are participating in this tournament. In category B 255 player and category C 256 players have registered,” he added.

Touted as one of the four prestigious tournaments of the country, the prize money will be Rs 25 lakh, which is Rs 3 lakh more than the last edition. “GM tournament is one of four biggest tournaments in the country and its specialty is the 25 lakh prize money. Players from thirty countries and grandmaster from 16 countries have been participating. It is a great opportunity for Odisha players to watch out playing grandmaster’s playing and also to play with them.” Dr. Ganganendra Das Director of Sports, KIIT University said.

“Many players from Russia, America, Indonesia, and the Philippines are coming,” he added.