Biel: World’s second youngest ever Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi will be looking forward to some exciting chess in the Young Grandmasters tournament, an innovation in the tradition of the Biel Chess Festival that starts its 43rd edition on Monday.
The closed GM tournament will see reigning world junior champion Maxime Vachier Lagreave of France start as the top seeded player in this 10-players round robin wherein each participant will play against the other once.
The organisers have successfully roped in eight of the top juniors in the world besides two sightly older player Evgeny Tomashevsky of Russia, 23, and Maxim Rodshtein of Israel, 21.
The age gap between the oldest and the youngest is a paltry seven years as Nepali-Russian turned Dutch Anish Giri starts as the youngest participant.
The tournament boasts of a category 17 field with an average rating of 2658 points that certainly makes it the strongest ever tournament offered to young Grandmasters.
Parimarjan will have his task cut out after a few lean patches since April this year.
Being in lead and around the leader for the major part of the tournament in Dubai International open in April, the Indian lost the last two rounds to finish nowhere near the top.
The trend continued in the Commonwealth championship at New Delhi too when from a 7.5/8 start, he had to be satisfied only with the junior gold medal and his last Swiss event also saw him going down in the last round during the Mumbai International open in June.
Parimarjan came up with a slightly improved performance in the Greek league where his rating was at par against high quality opposition. As it was an improved trend the Indian can look up to better that in this very strong field as there are eight players higher rated than him in this event.
Vachier, as he is popularly referred to, starts as the rating favourite but going by the current form Anish Giri, 16, looks dangerous, aesthetic and extremely well prepared. The winner of the Corus ‘B’ group this year is having a great time recently and his rating has gone up to 2672 points.
Fabiano Caruana of Italy is another emerging player ready to break into the 2700 ELO club. Born in USA, Caruana will be having the backing of local fans as well as Switzerland is his residence for past one year.
The Asian trio of Philipino Wesley So, Vietnamese Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son and Parimarjan have it in them to cause major upset and run away from the field, while Tomaeshvsky is now a seasoned campaigner beyond 2700 rating barrier.
Rodshtein, David Howell of England and Dimitry Andreikin of Russia complete the impressive line up.
The players with ratings: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France, 2723); Evgeny Tomashevsky (Russia, 2708); Fabiano Caruana (Italy, 2697); Wesley So (Philippines, 2674); Dmitry Andreikin (Russia, 2650); Anish Giri (Netherlands, 2672); Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son (Vietnam, 2617); Parimarjan Negi (India, 2615); Maxim Rodhstein (Israel, 2609); David Howell (England, 2616).