DEFENDING champion Candidate Master (CM) Manoj Kumar is eyeing his second win in the Brijlal Rapid Open Chess Championship this Sunday.
The tournament which will start at 9am will be held at the Level 4 Tappoo City Conference Room in Suva.
Kumar says he had been preparing well for this upcoming tournament.
However he is wary of the challenge from the other top players who will be competing in the day-long event.
"Recently, I have been playing heaps of blitz games to align myself to the new format of 20 minutes plus 10 seconds," Kumar said in a statement from the Fiji Chess Federation.
"I am expecting strong competition from CM Calvin Prasad, CM Noel Adricula, WFM Hilda Vukikomoala, WCM Gloria Sukhu, CM Ronald Terubea and CM Goru Arvind who are all playing excellent chess.
"However, I am keen to stand my ground against their various styles of play."
Federation president Doctor Virgilio De Asa said the competition level had improved dramatically in the past two years.
He said gone were days where the senior players would glide their way into semi-finals and finals.
"But these days, the story is much different since our Sunday coaching sessions between 2.30pm to 4pm at Fiji Club seems to have introduced new life into our younger players."
Some upcoming players confirmed for this tournament include Menash Fareed, Meshan Fareed, Neelam Kumar, Vinooda Senewiratne, Aarti Sewak, Austin Koroi, James Zhang, William Yee and Tianata Terubea.
"Brijlal Open Chess has always been a favourite among youngsters since it comes with a variety of prizes," added top contender and national champion CM Prasad.