Viswanathan Anand returns to action after a year in Croatia | Chess News

ZAGREB: Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand will resume his historic rivalry with Russian legend Garry Kasparov in the Croatia Grand Chess Tour Rapid and Blitz tournament from Wednesday, returning to action after more than a year.
The Indian maestro’s last outsized event was in March 2020 before COVID-19 and related restrictions put an end to athletic action across the world.
Anand will be present in the quick and blitz segments, while his longtime rival and former world champion Kasparov will only participate in the blitz event.
Anand and Kasparov, who retired in 2005, have played in several memorable matches, including the PCA World Championships final held at the World Trade Center in New York in 1995.
He said he was looking forward to playing chess over the board again and facing Kasparov as well.
“I’m delighted to be able to play again. I have a lot of memories playing with Kasaparov. But it (playing against him) will be different this time,” Anand said.
The Chennai chess ace, who is now ranked 15th in the world, will seek good results in a high-quality field.
He was part of the Indian team, which won the FIDE Online Olympiad in August last year together with Russia.
Anand, who was stranded in Germany last year when lockdowns and travel restrictions were triggered due to the pandemic, returned to India in June.
Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Elo 2807) is the highest ranked player in the field, which also includes Russian grandmaster Alex Grischuk, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan) and Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia).
Nepomniachtchi, who will challenge Magnus Carlsen for the world title later this year, entered the event thanks to a wild card like Anand.
General managers Anish Giri (Netherlands), Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Poland), Ivan Saric (Croatia), Anton Korobov (Ukraine) and Jorden Van Foreest (Netherlands) are also in the fray.
The tournament will see the 10 elite Grandmasters compete in nine rounds of quick chess (which will be played July 7-9) and 18 blitz chess rounds (which will be played July 10 and 11) for a fee total of $ 150,000.
In Quick Chess, each player has 25 minutes to complete the game with a 10 second increment added after each move.
In the blitz event, players have five minutes to play with a two second increment time added after each hit.

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