SEVEN top class international players have confirmed their participation for the first Fiji International Open Chess Championship.
The Fiji Chess Federation revealed that four Australians and three New Zealanders make up the seven international participants. FCF general secretary Teliko Koroi said the FCF was gearing up for its biggest tournament.
"We have at least seven international players who have confirmed their participation, and these include Grandmaster (GM) Darryl Johanssen (AUS), International Master George Xie (AUS) with three GM Norms, FIDE Master Brian Jones (AUS), FIDE Master Bob Smith (NZ) with one IM Norm, Women's FIDE Master Vivian Smith (NZ), Bill Egan (AUS) and Paul Spiller (NZ)," Koroi said.
"It is a tournament of great hype and awe.
"Local Candidate Masters (CM) Manoj Kumar, Calvin Prasad and Dr. Sanmogam Goundar will look forward to giving the international players a strong challenge along with the likes of veteran Dr Neel Arora, who was No. 70 in India at his peak chess career and aggressive youngsters Ronald Terubea and Tione Sikivou." FCF assistant secretary Goru Arvind said the tournament was an opportunity for the local players to obtain international chess ranking (FIDE Rating).
"FIDE Rating represents player strength and other local players who are not rated can obtain ranking points by securing a respectable performance in the tournament," Arvind said. "Apart from the huge cash prizes, the tournament is also an avenue for us to meet players from various backgrounds and have good fun on the chessboard." The week-long tournament will be a taxing affair for all players, since under FIDE time control of 90 minutes per player with 30 second increment per move, a single match can stretch to around 4-5 hours.
"It will be a test of patience, stamina, skill and courage against a very strong group of international players who are clear favourites in the championship," Arvind said. The open will be held from May 5-12 at the Peninsula International Hotel in Suva.