Currently ranked 30 in world rankings, Harikrishna is one of the favourites in the 175000 Pounds Sterling (Approx. Rs. 1.7 Crores) chess festival. The Indian is seeded seventh in the strong line-up, led by former world champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria.

Apart from Harikrishna, much can be expected from B Adhiban, who is the second highest rated Indian in the fray. National Champion S P Sethuraman, Surya Shekhar Ganguly, Sandipan Chanda, Deep Sengupta, M R Lalith Babu, V Vishnu Prasanna, M R Venkatesh, M Shyam Sundar, Debashish Das, Neelotpal Das and D Harika are the other Indian Grandmasters who will be competing in the tournament.

Topalov, who currently ranks number three in live ratings, will be playing in an open tournament after almost 20-years' gap. It may be recalled that recently Vladimir Kramnik of Russia and Anish Giri of Holland took part in the Qatar Masters open, putting an end to the belief that elite players don't like to play in open tournaments.

"This is a very strong event and at the same time I will face new players. In the top events, it is always the same guys and it becomes boring after some time but now I want to meet new faces and get more experience," Topalov said during the opening ceremony.

At 2800 rating, Topalov is also the highest rated player ever to take part in this tournament.

Hikaru Nakamura of United States is another big draw in the tournament, besides Russian Peter Svidler who has played here before also.

All eyes will, however, be on Yangyi Yu of China who has been on a roll recently. The Chinese youngster guided his team to a historic gold medal in the last Chess Olympiad and then won the Qatar Masters ahead of Kramnik and Giri to become a 2700 Elo club member recently.

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