Viswanathan Anand will skip the World Cup

CHENNAI: five times world champion Viswanathan Anand The next edition of the World Cup will be lost, which will be held in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia, from September 9 to October 4. Anand had obtained an automatic qualification for the tournament based on his average score of the last 12 months.

Instead, Anand will participate in the FIDE Grand Swiss tournament to be held on the Isle of Man from October 10-21.

The tournament will feature the current world champion Magnus Carlsen leading the field along with other prominent names such as Fabiano Caruana Liren Ding Anish Giri , Mamedyarov Shakhriyar and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave among others. I thought he would play the Swiss event, Anand told TOI about his decision to skip the WC.

However, a source close to Anand said the Grand Master is focused on winning the Candidates meeting, which will be held next year, to challenge Carlsen for the world title and is choosing tournaments in his comfort zone.

The World Cup will be played in a qualifying format and offers two spaces for the Candidates meeting. The meeting of the Isle of Man, on the other hand, takes place in the Swiss format and would give it a single space for Candidates. Still, Anand wants to play in the latter because it is less unpredictable. Also, with the World Cup concluding just a few days before the start of the Isle of Man tournament, Anand may not have much time in terms of preparation, the source said.

With Anand not appearing in the WC, the other Indians in the fray include P Harikrishna, Vidit Gujarathi, B Adhiban, SL Narayanan, Abhijeet Gupta , Karthikeyan Murali, SP Sethuraman, Surya Shekhar Ganguly , Aravindh Chithambaram and Nihal Sarin.