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Curtain goes up on the Tata Steel Chess India – Rapid & Blitz 2019 edition - the first GCT tournament ever to be held in Asia

Kolkata, November 07, 2019

~ Tata Steel reaffirms its commitment to sports as a way of life ~

  • Tournament dates announced: Friday 22nd November - Tuesday 26th November 2019 ~
  • Grand Trophy unveiled: Tata Steel Chess India yesterday unveiled a specially crafted bronze trophy that the combined winner of the rapid and blitz legs of the tournament will receive ~
  • Venue: In keeping with the stature of the event, the venue is the Bhasha Bhawan Auditorium at the iconic National Library, one of the most significant heritage landmarks of Kolkata. ~

TATA STEEL CHESS INDIA, RAPID & BLITZ 2019 puts India firmly on the world chess map, not only as the breeding ground of top world-level players, but also as a super-tournament host. The tournament brings eight of the world's top fifteen Grandmasters and the top three Indian players to Kolkata. This is a 10-player field, high-level, all-play-all tournament.

Tata Steel has a long-standing association with chess, having been the main sponsor of the famous chess tournament at Wijkaan Zee, The Netherlands, which is one of the most prestigious events in the international chess calendar. In India, too, Tata Steel supports inter-school, district and State-level competitions in Jharkhand. Tata Steel intends to make Tata Steel Chess India a world-class and most sought-after event in professional chess in the years to come.

At a press conference held yesterday in Kolkata by Tata Steel Chess India, Mr Chanakya Chaudhary, Vice President, Corporate Services, Tata Steel, and Mr Bharat Singh Chauhan, Secretary, AICF, unveiled the grand trophy that the combined winner of the Rapid and Blitz legs of the tournament will receive. This special bronze trophy, crafted by sculptor Madhusudan Naskar, draws inspiration from the sport and has been based on the Knight piece. India’s second grandmaster Mr Dibyendu Barua was also present during the unveiling.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Chanakya Chaudhary, Vice President, Corporate Services, Tata Steel, said: “Tata Steel is delighted to bring to Kolkata the second edition of Tata Steel Chess India, this time as part of the Grand Chess Tour. It is indeed a matter of great pride for all of us that this tournament will be the first-ever GCT event to be held in Asia, and where eight out of the world’s top-15 Grandmasters will participate.”

“Chess is seeing a resurgence and renewed interest in its country of origin. India is currently ranked 4th in the world based on the average rating of its top 10 players and has now more FIDE registered chess players than any other country in the world. This association of Grand Chess Tour (GCT) with Tata Steel Chess India - Rapid & Blitz is very promising and brings a refreshing change for the game of chess with many untapped possibilities. We believe our best is yet to come and we now aim to achieve new landmarks in this game,” added, Mr Bharat Singh Chauhan, Secretary, AICF.

From 2019, its second edition, Tata Steel Chess India Rapid and Blitz 2019 has become part of the Grand Chess Tour.

The Grand Chess Tour, inspired by chess legend Garry Kasparov, and launched in 2015, includes two classical and five rapid and blitz tournaments. The Kolkata leg, from November 22-26, 2019, will be the penultimate event of the eight-leg Tour which has expanded this time to four continents - Africa, Asia, Europe and America.

Eight of the top 15 Grandmasters in the world are participating in this tournament, including current World Chess Champion, Magnus Carlsen. The other Grandmasters who will be seen in action in the Kolkata tournament are Viswanathan Anand, Ding Liren, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Levon Aronian, Anish Giri, Wesley So, Hikaru Nakamura and wildcards PentalaHarikrishna, Vidit Gujrathi.

About Tata Steel
Tata Steel group is among the top global steel companies with an annual crude steel capacity of 33 million tonnes per annum. It is one of the world's most geographically-diversified steel producers, with operations and commercial presence across the world. The group (excluding SEA operations) recorded a consolidated turnover of US $22.67 billion in the financial year ending March 31, 2019. In 2018, Tata Steel acquired Bhushan Steel Ltd (now renamed as Tata Steel BSL Ltd).

A Great Place to Work-Certified organisation, Tata Steel Ltd., together with its subsidiaries, associates and joint ventures, is spread across five continents with an employee base of over 65,000.

Tata Steel retained the ‘Global Steel Industry Leader’ position in the DJSI 2018. The Company has been recognised as the Climate Disclosure Leader in ‘Steel category’ by CDP (2017). Besides being a member of the World Steel Climate Action Programme, Tata Steel has won several awards including the Lighthouse recognition for its Kalinganagar Plant – a first in India, Prime Minister’s Trophy for the best performing integrated steel plant for 2016-17, ‘GreenPro’ certification for products (Tata Pravesh Steel Doors, Tata Structura, Tata Pipes) by CII, Authorized Economic Operator  (AEO) status (Tier 2) by the Directorate of International Customs (Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India), ‘Corporate Strategy Award’ by Mint (2018), Golden Peacock Award for Risk Management (2018) and Best Risk Management Framework & Systems Award (2019) by CNBC TV18. The Company also received the ‘Most Ethical Company’ award from Ethisphere Institute for the eight time (2019), Steel Sustainability Champion (2018) by the World Steel Association, Dun & Bradstreet Corporate Awards (2019), Golden Peacock HR Excellence Award by Institute of Directors (2018), ‘Best Companies To Work For’ recognition by Business Today, 'Asia's Best Integrated Report' award by the Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards (2017), among several others.

Last year, the Company launched a corporate brand campaign #WeAlsoMakeTomorrow..

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