Chess World Cup in Tbilisi to feature world champion Magnus Carlsen for first time

Norway's Magnus Carlsen will become the first current world champion to feature at World Cup. Photo: Anastasiya Karlovich/FIDE., 28 Jul 2017 - 16:45, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia's capital Tbilisi is gearing up to host over 120 top chess players from around the world in this year's Chess World Cup, with the current world champion taking part in the high-profile competition for the first time in history.

Promoted as the principal event organised this year by World Chess Federation (FIDE), the competition will feature all 15 of the leading players of the federation's international rankings including the champion Magnus Carlsen.

The Norwegian grandmaster earned his first champion's title in 2013 and was the youngest person to achieve over 2,800 points and reach the No. 1 position in FIDE rankings.

Beside Carlsen the Tbilisi event will feature participants from nearly 50 countries, including four competitors from Georgia. The roster of local players will include Baadur Jobava, Nana Dzagnidze, Levan Pantsulaia and Mikheil Mtchedlishvili.

They will feature alongside high-ranking players including former world chess champions Vladimir Kramnik and Viswanathan Anand as well as United States champion Wesley So.

Details of the tournament were announced at a press conference in Georgia's capital on Thursday, where European Chess Union president Zurab Azmaiparashvili spoke along with other officials.

Set to run from September 2-28, the world cup will be held within Check in Georgia, a governmental initiative bringing international sports events held in Georgia throughout 2017 under one umbrella.

The competition will also serve as a preparation event for organisers of next year's Chess Olympiad, set to be hosted in Georgia's Black Sea city Batumi.