A winner of this tournament in 2011, Gupta recently won the Al-Ain Classic in UAE and the country remains one of his favourite grounds. The Indian is ranked 12th in one of the strongest open tournament in Asia.
     
Anton Korobov of Ukraine starts as the top seed. The semifinalist of the last world chess cup had also won the AICF-AAI cup in Delhi in December 2012 and remains a feared opponent.
     
Apart from Korobov, Vladimir Akopian of Armenia, French duo of Romain Edouarda and Andrei Istratescu, Romanian Constantin Lupulescu and Csaba Balogh of Hungary are other players above 2650 ELO rating in the tournament.
     
The tournament will be played under FIDE's Swiss rules and there will be nine rounds in all. The total prize pool is 50000 USD out of which the winner will take home 10000 USD.
     
As usual, the 16th edition of the Dubai open has attracted a variety of Indian players. There are 30 Indians in the fray in a list that boasts of 160 players currently but is likely to go up by the time the first round starts at the Dubai Chess and Culture Club.
     
There are as many as 40 Grandmasters in the fray apart from 22 International Masters, eight Woman Grandmasters and three Woman International Masters making the total number of titled players over 70.

 (Agencies)

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