Asian team chess championship commences

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Visakhapatnam, Jan 2 (UNI) The Asian team chess championship, with eight teams each contesting in both the open and women sections, commenced here today.

Both the championships would be held under round robin format.

While China, with two rated players Wang Yue and Bu Xaingzhi, with a team average of 2,661 leads among the contestants, India Reds team with team average of 2,584 is seeded next to the leaders.

The top board Indian player Sasikiran has a rating of 2,677 in the newly released rating list. Four times National Champion Surya Shekar Ganguly is also playing on the second board followed by GM Abijit Kunte, GM G N Gopal and GM elect Abhijit Gupta.

Vietnam and Uzbekistan with average ratings of 2,533 and 2,528, respectively, are seeded third and fourth while Iran is rated fifth.

Having beaten China in the rapid version of Asian Indoor Games, Macau and Asian Games, Doha the Indians are expected to repeat it in their homeland also. Former Asian Junior Champion Deepan Chakaravarthy is captaining India.

On the distaff side also, China tops the field with an average rating of 2,491, followed by India Reds with 2,427.

The 13-year-old prodigy and the top most junior player Hou Yifan of China with 2,527 leads the field.

In the absence of world number two Koneru Humpy, Dronavalli Harika captains India Reds. The other players in the team are Nisha Mohota, Asian women Champion Tania Sachdev and former under-18 World Champion Aarthie Ramaswamy.

Additional Commissioner of Income Tax B Jayakuamar inaugurated the event, for which Deputy President of Asian Chess Federation Mc Casto Abundo is the chief arbiter.

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