The six-day 31st National MPL Under-18 Chess Championship will begin on April 18 in Pollachi with a total of 238 players, including 95 in the girls category, taking part in the tournament.
14-year-old International Master H Bharath Subramaniam of Tamil Nadu, who will be awarded the Grandmaster title later this month, is the top seed with a rating of 2,503 and the champion will represent India at the World Youth Chess Championships. will be held later this year, Tamil Nadu State Chess Association President Dr M Manickam told reporters here on Saturday.
Other big stars of the tournament are International Master LR Srihari (TN), Chosen IM Avinash Ramesh (TN), FIDE Master Ayush Sharma from Madhya Pradesh, FIDE Master S Harshad from Coimbatore (TN), International Master Manish Anto Cristiana (TN), 13-year-old former National Under-9 Champion AR Ilamparithi (TN), Bhagyashree Patil of Maharashtra and 2021 Under-16 National Online Champion Kheethi Ganta.
The championship will be held at Dr Mahalingam College of Engineering and Technology in Pollachi, jointly organized with the Coimbatore District Chess Association, said Manickam, who is also chairman of the Sakthi Group of Industries which runs the college.
The championship will be inaugurated by renowned Indian Grandmaster trainer RB Ramesh, who has produced several grandmasters including R Praggnanandhaa, who recently beat world champion Magnus Carlsen.
Out of the total prize money of Rs 9 lakh, the winners of the two categories will receive Rs 90,000 each, said tournament coordinator and TNSCA Vice Chairman R Anantharam.
The last edition of the championship was held in Ernakulam in 2019 where 89 boys and 55 girls played as the events were not held in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, he said.
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