Tata Steel Chess India Rapid and Blitz is back!

by Shahid Ahmed
11/12/2021 – The Tata Steel Chess India Rapid and Blitz Tournament will take place on November 17-21 in Kolkata. This time, fourteen players will be taking part. The lineup will be spearheaded by Levon Aronian. This event aims to give maximum exposure to Indian youngsters who have been rapidly climbing the rating ladder. Vishy Anand will be present at the tournament as a mentor to the young talents.

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A mix of young Indian stars and strong GMs

India’s biggest chess tournament is back after a gap of one year. As always, the lineup has top international super grandmasters — Levon Aronian is back in his third outing, while Sam Shankland, Le Quang Liem and Parham Maghsadloo clock up their first appearance at TSCI.

Also making their appearance this year are Harika Dronavalli and Vaishali, marking a welcome first for the tournament. Out in force this year is the youth brigade from India as well, with representatives of the country’s ever-expanding grandmaster list. This is a 14-player high-level, all-play-all tournament, divided into Rapid and Blitz formats.

Five-time World Champion Vishy Anand will not be a part of the event as a player, but will very much be present at the venue as a mentor to the youngsters!

The tournament will be played in two formats: rapid and blitz. The Rapid Tournament will be a 10-player round-robin played on November 17, 18 and 19, with three rounds per day. The time control is 25 minutes for the entire game with an increment of 10 seconds from move 1. The Blitz Tournament will be a 10-player double round-robin played on November 20 and 21, with 9 rounds per day. The time control is 3 minutes with an increment of 2 seconds from Move 1.

  • Six players will play in both events: Vidit Gujrathi, Le Quang Liem, Sam Shankland, Levon Aronian, Parham Maghsoodloo and B. Adhiban
  • Four Indian players will only play the Rapid: Arjun Erigaisi, Vaishali, Praggnanandhaa and Karthikeyan Murali
  • Four Indian players will only play the Blitz: Gukesh, Nihal Sarin, Raunak Sadhwani and Harika Dronavalli

Tata Steel Chess India 2021

Tata Steel Chess India 2021

Bhasha Bhawan, the National Library of India, will be the venue of the event. It was also the place where the Tata Steel Chess India 2019 was held. The playing hall was packed to the capacity back in 2019. This year, the number of people who will be allowed will be reduced because of the Covid-19 measures. However, the tournament is open to spectators. Tickets will not be sold; passes will be available at the venue on first-come-first-serve basis on the days of the tournament.

Tata Steel Chess India 2021

Bhasha Bhawan | Photo: Sagar Shah

The biggest attraction of the event will surely be the presence of Levon Aronian. Here is why he is the crowd favourite:

ChessBase India is the broadcast partner of the event, and the tournament will be livestreamed on its YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Tata Steel Chess India 2021


Shahid Ahmed is the senior coordinator and editor of ChessBase India. He enjoys covering chess tournaments and also likes to play in chess events from time to time.


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