FIJI Chess Federation president Dr Virgilio de Asa has labelled Candidate Master's Calvin Prasad and Manoj Kumar as the biggest threats to Dr Neel Arora in this weekend's Fiji Open Chess Championship.
Dr Arora, a Fiji School of Medicine lecturer, won the event last year after Kumar, vacated the title following a close tie-break between the three.
"The three players (Arora, Kumar, Prasad) were tied for first place last year and Arora only won after a close tie-break," said Dr de Asa.
He said Prasad was a threat because of the upsets he caused during the World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey two weeks ago.
"Dr Neel Arora will be hard-pressed to defend the title he won last year against the in-form CM Calvin Prasad who was the most consistent player in the recently concluded World Chess Olympiad.
"Fellow CM Manoj Kumar, who missed the Olympiad because of studies, will be out to regain the title he vacated last year."
The Courts Fiji-sponsored tournament has four categories — Elite, B-grade, Womens and Students. Players enter any category.
"Like for Ronald Terubea, he was promoted to elite to prepare for the World Chess Olympiad but he can play in either in Elite or B-grade.
"And for the women's competition, there are players like Hilda Vukikomoala, Amy Bale, Cydel Terubea and Jacqueline Masilomani who can either play in the women's category or the students.
"If they all play in the women's category and we don't have female students' competition then they will be awarded prizes in terms of the top placed primary schools female, the top places secondary schools female," Dr de Asa said.
The tournament will be played this Sunday at the Fiji National University's Pasifika Campus in Suva.