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      >> World Chess News

    The Olympiad Bound Chess Team from India gets sponsors

    New Delhi, June 12th: The Chess Olympiad-bound Indian squad, led by world No. 1 Viswanathan Anand and world No. 2 woman player Koneru Humpy, has received sponsorship worth Rs.9 million.

    The players will receive purses based on their ratings, said Delhi Chess Association secretary Bharat Singh, who is the team's coach-cum-manager for the 37th Olympiad to be held in Turin, Italy, starting Saturday. It will conclude June 4.

    The players will get the money in the following manner: Anand (Rs.500,000), K. Sasikiran and Pentyala Harikrishna (Rs.75,000 each), Humpy, Surya Sekhar Ganguly and Sandipan Chanda (Rs.50,000 each) and Diwakar Prasad Singh, Dronavalli Harika, Swati Ghate and Mary Ann Gomes (Rs.25,000 each).

    Bharat Singh said it was the first time that a major sponsorship of this magnitude had come to the aid of the Indian team.



    "Canara Bank will sponsor the Indian Olympiad men's and women's chess teams. This is the first time that a corporate sponsor is identified with the Olympiad-bound Indian team," said Singh.

    The men's team comprises Anand, Sasikiran, Harikrishna, Ganguly, Chanda and D.P. Singh. D.P. Singh has replaced Abhijit Kunte in the team that took part in the 2004 Olympiad, and will make his Olympiad debut. No reason has been given for Kunte's absence.

    Indians are expected to improve upon their best-ever sixth place finish in 2004 as the big three - Anand, Sasikiran and Harikrishna - are at their all time high ELO ratings.

    India has been seeded second behind Russia in the men's category.

    The women's team has Humpy, new national champion Ghate, Harika and Ann Gomes. Gomes and Ghate have replaced Vijayalakshmi and Nisha Mohota and will make their debut in Turin.

    The players underwent intensive coaching for two weeks in Goa with assistance from the ministry of youth affairs and sports.

    They have benefited from their training under Grandmaster Elizbar Ubilava of Spain and Georgdez of Georgia. They will join the team in Turin.

    Squad:

    Men: Viswanathan Anand, Krishnan Sasikiran, Pentyala Harikrishna, Surya Sekhar Ganguly, Sandipan Chanda, and Diwakar Prasad Singh.

    Women: Koneru Humpy, Swati Ghate, Dronavalli Harika and Mary Ann Gomes

    Support staff: Elizbar Ubilava of Spain and Georgdez of Georgia (both trainers), R.M. Dongre and Bharat Singh (both coach-cum-manager), D.V. Sundar (chief-de-mission).

    Source: Indo-Asian News Service