Kolkata, January 30: Bengal Grandmaster Sandipan Chanda looks to get back to his best at the Chess Bundesliga, which will get underway in April at Solingen, Germany.
The franchise league, which has attracted leading chess players like Anatoly Karpov, Gary Kasparov, Nigel Short, Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand, will see the 34-year-old Chanda as the only Indian participant. He will feature for Schachgesellschaft Solin in the league.
Chanda, who is currently participating at the Gibraltar Chess Festival, said: "The Chess Bundesliga starts in April and ends in October. Sixteen teams take part in the league. One team comprises eight players. According to the rules, each team is compelled to allow its Grand Master to take part in other international tournaments during the league. I first got opportunity to take part in this league in 2001. I was only 18 at that time and surprisingly, my club has asked me to sign contract every year since that introductory year."
Chanda, whose ELO Rating is now 2579, will go to Moscow from Gibralter to take part in another international tournament before the Chess Bundesliga. "Once, my FIDE Rating (ELO) reached nearly 2700 points. It has come down now. But I am not much bothered. Everybody has to go through lean patches. Besides, I always feel that in last 17 years I have learnt a lot from playing one of the biggest chess leagues in Chess Bundesliga."
Chanda is also exceptional in his fraternity as he is the only chess player in Bengal who has left an attractive job to continue playing chess. With Viswanathan Anand naming him a 'second', it's only understandable that his franchise at the Chess Bundesliga are banking on Chanda to come good this year.