Viswanathan Anand, Israel’s Boris Gelfand to train Indian Chess Olympiad team

The two legends will work in tandem at the first coaching camp in Chennai from May 7 to 17

The two legends will work in tandem at the first coaching camp in Chennai from May 7 to 17

Five-time World Champion Viswanathan Anand and Israel’s Boris Gelfand will work in tandem to guide the Indian team for the 44th Chess Olympiad.

According to a release here on Thursday, the All India Chess Federation (AICF) has brought the two legends together for the home team’s first coaching camp to be held at Hotel Leela here from May 7 to 17.

Gelfand, who won the World Cup in 2009 and has played 11 Olympiads, and Anand will train members of the first teams in the open as well as women’s sections.

Koneru Humpy, former World champion in rapid chess, believes the decision to appoint Gelfand in addition to mentor Anand, will motivate the players ahead of the Olympiad set to begin here on July 28.

“I don’t often participate in coaching camps, but this time having Gelfand and Anand as coach and mentor will definitely motivate the team and for sure there will be a lot to learn from their experience,” she said.

Members of the first team in the open section — Vidit Gujrathi, P. Harikrishna, Arjun Erigaisi, S.L. Narayanan and K. Sasikiran — and in the women’s section — Koneru Humpy, Dronavalli Harika, R. Vaishali, Tania Sachdev and Bhakti Kulkarni — will take part in the camp along with their respective coaches Srinath Narayanan and Abhijit Kunte.

Arjun and Sasikiran, who are currently playing tournaments in Europe, will join the camp a couple of days later.

“I am a big fan of his [Gelfand] and this is the first time I would be training with such a strong player though we have played a few games against each other,” he said.

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