India No.1 Viswanathan Anand will look to seal his berth in the 2019 Grand Chess Tour Finals, while world champion Magnus Carlsen will be start attraction when the Grand Chess Tour (GCT) gets under way later this month here.
Anand, who finished a disappointing tied third in the Sinquefield Cup in August, needs 13 points from the remaining two legs to seal a spot in the GCT Finals. He is currently taking part in the Superbet Rapid & Blitz meet in Bucharest (November 6-10). Kolkata has been a happy hunting ground for Anand, a city where he played his first GM tournament in 1986 and won the Tata Steel Blitz title last year in nail-biting fashion.
Carlsen, meanwhile, is leading the pack and is in a league of his own with one foot already in the GCT Finals, which will be held during the London Chess Classic in England. Carlsen, who is not playing the Bucharest round, has 54.5 points, with second-placed Ding Liren on 37.8 from four events.
The GCT, inspired by chess legend Garry Kasparov, and launched in 2015, includes two classical and five rapid and blitz tournaments. The Kolkata leg will be the penultimate event of the eight-leg Tour which has expanded this time to four continents -- Africa, Asia, Europe and America.
Eight of the top 15 Grandmasters in the world are participating in this tournament, including Carlsen and Anand. The other Grandmasters who will be seen in action are Ding Liren, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Levon Aronian, Anish Giri, Wesley So, Hikaru Nakamura and wild cards Pentala Harikrishna and Vidit Gujrathi.