Friday, 30 January 2015

The best chess city in the World?

Moscow, surely? At least that would be the first choice of many players and chess fans from around the world. Of course this is based upon the dominance of world chess by the USSR/Russia in the 20th century, but clearly the chess environment in Moscow must have something to do with it.
Other choices? New York with its famous clubs (Marshall and Manhattan), Budapest due to the First Saturday events, or even Reykjavik, based on the number of GM's, the 1972 Fischer - Spassky match, and the fantastic Reykjavik Open.
Well what about Chennai? The home city of former World Champion Viswanathan Anand claims it has the most number of FIDE rated players in the world. And to back this up, they are holding a tournament with 1205 players. Not that special, until you realise that it is an Under 1600 event, and there are still 724 rated players taking part. Obviously it is an issue of quality over quantity, but if they can get those sort of numbers for a Under 1600 tournament, what would happen if they decided to hold an open?

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