THE in-form Candidate Master Manoj Kumar is optimistic of retaining the Kundan Singh Open Chess Championship in Suva this Sunday.
After securing a spot in the Norway Olympiad squad alongside CM Calvin Prasad, CM Sanmogam Goundar and CM Ronald Terubea, Kumar is hoping for the best this weekend.
"My confidence level is quite good," Kumar said in a statement.
"I am hoping to give all my opponents a brutal fight, it won't be easy for anyone."
The Fiji Chess Federation will use a different format at the competition. FCF has converted the tournament into a rapid event with 20 minutes of play and 10 seconds increment per move for the first time.
Federation general secretary Goru Arvind said they hope the format would assist the players' international rating.
"Fiji currently has 27 international-rated players in normal format.
"By holding FIDE-rated rapid events like the Kundan Singh Open, we hope to get International Rapid Ratings for our players to expand our profile a step further."
FCF president Dr Virgilio De Asa said: "At present, Fiji holds 11 international player titles which is the highest among all Pacific Island countries.
"Despite our limited resources, we have managed to increase our young player base and improve the overall quality of local chess."
The event which starts at 9am will be held at the Level Four Tappoo City conference room.