China starts favourite, India is underdog

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Even as sporting activity remains suspended given the COVID-19 pandemic, chess players continue to make their moves in online prize-money events.

The FIDE Chess.com online Nations Cup, the richest online team tournament, begins on Tuesday.

Barring World champion Magnus Carlsen, almost all the leading men and women players from four countries, one continent and a ‘Rest of the World’ combination will be on view.

India seeded fifth

India, seeded five, will be a rank outsider despite fielding its strongest possible combination of Viswanathan Anand, Vidit Gujrathi, P. Harikrishna, B. Adhiban, K. Humpy and D. Harika. Former World champion Vladimir Kramnik as advisor to the Indian camp arouses added interest.

The event follows the double round-robin format, with the two leading teams battling for the title in a ‘Superfinal’.

China, the rating favourite, with Ding Liren, Wang Hao and Wei Yi, gains from the comeback of Hou Yifan, the world’s strongest woman player.

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