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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 23:

The 9th KIIT International Chess Festival was today inaugurated by Dr. Achyuta Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS in Odisha capital.

KIIT Chess

Like last year, the tournament will be played in three different categories. In the Elite category, total 220 players are participating in the 9-round meet. Players from India, Bangladesh, Russia, USA, Uzbekistan, South Africa, Nepal, Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, Canada, Indonesia and Afghanistan are participating in the tournament.

Altogether 86 rated players, including 15 GM, 3 WGM and 18 IM are taking part. Ivan Popov of Russia, one among top 50 players of the world with Fide rating of 2645, is also playing. Top 10 players from Odisha are participating in the tournament including Swayams, Manishah, Saina, Kiran Manisha and Aparajita. Odia players can achieve IM and GM norms in this tournament. The championship will benefit players from the State as most of them will get a chance to play with International Masters and Grand Masters.

Apart from others, N. Srinivasan, IAS (Retd); I. A. Khan, Dy. General Manager, Union Bank; Sekhar Chandra Sahu, IM, President, AOCA and K.K. Sarma, Secretary, were present on the occasion.