Calcutta: All eyes will be on top-seed Diptayan Ghosh when the 24th edition of The Telegraph Schools' Chess Championship gets underway on Thursday, here, at the Alekhine Chess Club.
Diptayan being the first ever IM to participate in the competition certainly makes this edition very special. The 15-year-old was conferred with the IM norm during the recently held Fide Congress in Tsakhkadzor, Armenia.
Finishing second best in this competition last year, hot favourite Diptayan seems determined to clinch the title this time around. "When I first played in this tournament, there were plenty of things about chess that I needed to know. I still remember those days.
"Thereafter, the more I played, the more experience I gained… It was the ties against the top players and the quality ones that benefited me the most. Hope I win the title this time," Diptayan said on Wednesday.
Diptayan, though, is quite clear with his next target ' attaining the GM norm as early as possible. Debankar Dhara and former national under-19 champion Mitrava Guha are the second and third seeds, while fourth seed Kaustav Kundu is tipped to be the surprise element.
Talking of the foreign participants, five of them have come in from Nepal, with Nawal Ghimire being the one to look out for, having a Fide rating of 1643.
There's just one participant from Bangladesh, Tahsin Tajwar Zia ' son of the country's first GM Zia-ur Rehman.