Radesk gets the top billing

Calcutta: Poland's Radesk Wojtaszek gets the top billing in the Open International Chess Tournament, which begins at the Gorky Sadan, here, on Monday.

Organised by the Alekhine Chess Club, the 11-round meet is billed as the strongest chess tournament in Asia with 105 players, including 36 Grandmasters and five WGMs, vying for top honours. The field includes 13 GMs, who have Fide ratings of over 2,600 with Radesk (2,734) being the highest ranked player.

The 25-year-old Radesk has been one of the four seconds of world champion Viswanathan Anand during his successful title defences in 2008, 2010 and this year.

For India, GM Abhijeet Gupta holds the highest rank with a rating of 2,662 and is the fifth seed. Eighth seed Surya Sekhar Ganguly will lead the local challenge along with Sandipan Chanda (11th seed) and Neelotpal Das (13th seed).

Speaking at the media conference, Surya said: "This will be a very tough tournament. The field is very strong. We have to be on guard in all the 11 rounds. One has to play really well if he wants to win the tournament."

Surya, being one of the other three seconds of Anand, said he is keen to face Radesk in the tournament. "We know each other's strengths and weaknesses too well. So, it will be an interesting game."

Vietnam's Le Quang Liem (2,705), Anton Koropov (2,702) of Ukraine, Sergei Tiviakov (2,663) of the Netherlands are the second, third and fourth seeds respectively. The five WGMs are Eesha Karavade (2,385), Mary Ann Gomes (2,382), Nisha Mohota (2,339), Padmini Rout (2,313) and Soumya Swaminathan (2,268).