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Corus Chess: Anand leads Indian challenge

January 10, 2010 19:52 IST

Five-time champion and World No 3 Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand will spearhead a five-man strong Indian challenge at the prestigious Corus Chess Tournament starting in Wijk Aan Zee, The Netherlands, on Monday.

Anand, a reigning world champion, is the lone Indian in the elite Group A of the event, which he has won thrice jointly and twice individually.

The rest of the Indian team comprises of P Harikrishna and Parimarjan Negi in Group B and Abhijeet Gupta and Woman Grandmaster Soumya Swaminathan in Group C.

Barring World No 2 Bulgarian Veselin Topalov, who will square off against Anand in a World Championship in April this year, all the top players will compete in the Corus event.

That includes World No 1 Norwegian Magnus Carlsen and other top performers like Russian Vladimir Kramnik and Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine in Group A.

Anand first won the title in 1989 jointly with Predrag Nikolic, Zoltan Ribli and Gyula Sax. He had to wait for nine years to lift his second title and this time he shared it with Kramnik.

The individual wins for the Indian came in 2003 and 2004 before he shared it with Topalov in 2006.

To their credit, Harikrishna, Abhijeet and Sowmya have won world junior titles, while Negi is the youngest ever Indian to become a Grandmaster.

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