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Chess prodigies Koneru, Praggnanandhaa, and Vaishali poised for Norway Chess 2024 showdown

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Stavanger (Norway), May 13, 2024: Indian Grandmasters Koneru Humpy, Vaishali Rameshbabu and Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu are set to compete in the 12th edition of the prestigious Norway Chess scheduled to take place from 27 May to 7 June at SR-Bank’s main building in Stavanger, Norway.

The prestigious event will feature World No.1 Magnus Carlsen (Norway), World No.3 Hikaru Nakamura (USA), current World Champion Ding Liren (China), Women’s World Champion Ju Wenjun (China), Lei Tingjie (China) among others.

Popularly known as the ‘Wimbledon of Chess’, Norway Chess annually extend invitations to top Grandmasters from the world rating list. However, within the top 100 players globally, no women are listed. There has been a scarcity of women in the top-level private competitions due to limited invitations and unequal prize money.  Hence, to address this issue and set a new benchmark for gender equality, Norway Chess has introduced world’s first-ever equal female tournament this year.

Koneru Humpy

The Norway Chess Women’s Tournament, to be held in the same hall concurrently, with the same number of players as the Norway Chess, will have same format and an equivalent prize fund. With their partners EY, the SpareBank 1 SR-Bank Foundation, SpareBank 1 SR-Bank, and Stavanger Municipality, Norway Chess aim to provide women chess players with more opportunities and a comparable prize fund, fostering participation and giving a platform to aspiring female chess players.

In this landmark edition, the brother-sister duo of Praggnanandhaa and Vaishali will make their debut in the Norway Chess and the Norway Chess Women’s Tournament respectively.

Vaishali Rameshbabu

While Praggnanandhaa is only the second Indian to reach the final of the FIDE Chess World Cup, Vaishali is the third woman in India to achieve the Grandmaster title. Both are the first brother-sister duo to earn this distinction. Notably, Praggnanandhaa was the winner of the 2022 Norway Chess International Open Tournament. He remained unbeaten throughout the nine rounds, recording 7.5 points to clinch the title.

Koneru Humpy the current World No.2 in women’s category and India’s No.1 woman chess player who won the FIDE Women’s rapid chess championship in 2019 will be vying for top honours at the inaugural Norway Chess Women’s Tournament.

Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu

Speaking about the inaugural Norway Chess Women’s Tournament, five-time world champion and Indian legendary Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand, who has competed in the Norway Chess in the past said, “Norway chess are focused on making the game more spectator friendly and accessible. They experiment a lot with the format and time controls. They are very innovative in this area. I welcome their attempt to help popularise the women’s game by having an equal prize fund for the women this year. Always a tournament to look forward to both as a spectator and as a participant.”

Welcoming the participants from India, Benedicte Westre Skog, Co-owner and Project Manager, Norway Chess, said, “India is certainly a chess powerhouse, having produced top level chess talent over the years. With young Indian talented players doing wonders at the global stage, Chess is growing at a rapid pace in India. It is one of our key markets to tap in. We feel fortunate to have Indian GMs taking part in Norway Chess over past years. We are looking forward to hosting the Indian debutants Praggnanandhaa and Vaishali, as well as Koneru, and our best wishes to them.”

Here’s the full list of participants at Norway Chess 2024

Men’s Category

1. Magnus Carlsen (Norway), 2830, World No. 1

2. Fabiano Caruana (USA), 2804, World No. 2

3. Hikaru Nakamura (USA), 2788, World No. 3

4. World Champion Ding Liren (China), 2776, World No. 4

5. Alireza Firouzja (France), 2765, World No. 6

6. Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu (India), 2748, World No. 11

Women’s Category

1. Koneru Humpy (India), 2554, World No. 2 among women

2. Lei Tingjie (China), 2550, World No. 4 among women

3. Women’s World Champion Ju Wenjun (China), 2547, World No. 5 among women

4. Anna Muzychuk (Ukraine), 2525, World No. 7 among women.

5. Vaishali Rameshbabu (India), 2481, World No. 14 among women.

6. Pia Cramling (Sweden), 2437, World No. 31 among women.

 

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