Former world champion Viswanathan Anand will spearhead the Indian challenge at the Grand Swiss Tournament to be held in the Isle of Man from October 10 to 21. The tournament is expected to be the strongest Swiss-system tournament in the history of chess, FIDE, the world chess body, said in a statement. As of June 1, the following Indian Grand Masters (GMs) have qualified — Anand, P Harikrishna, Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, B Adhiban, K Sasikiran, and S P Sethuraman. The event features world number one Magnus Carlsen of Norway and other top players including Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So, Alexander Grischuk, Anish Giri, Hikaru Nakamura and Sergey Karjakin among others.

The tournament, with a prize fund of USD 4,32,500 will see the winner take home USD 70,000. It is part of the 2020 FIDE World Championship cycle. The winner would qualify for the Candidates’ Tournament which will produce a challenger to Carlsen in the next FIDE World Championship Match. The starting field of 160 players will feature 120 FIDE qualifiers, with the world’s top-100 players being invited based on their average rating over a 12-month period. The other 40 participants will be chosen as ‘wildcards’ allocated by the tournament director, Alan Ormsby, including four spots allocated to Chess.com online qualifiers.

“Swiss tournaments are one of the most attractive formats to compete in our sport: they produce very interesting clashes, allowing rising stars or not-so-strong players to cross swords with members of the chess elite,” FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich was quoted as saying.