World chess champion Viswanathan Anand will not be available for next month's Asian Games in Guangzhou (China) due to prior commitments, officials said on Friday.
With the top woman player Koneru Humpy also opting out of the mega event, the Indian squad will be same that played in the Olympiad last month. Humpy had won two gold medals including one in the team event in the last edition in Doha while Anand was absent there as well.
Both the players have already told the All India Chess Federation they will not be available for the November 12-27 Games.
"AICF secretary had approached Anand to play in the Asian Games. But he said he will not be available," Delhi Chess Association president BS Chauhan, who has been named team manager of the 10-member squad, said.
Medals will be up for grabs in the team events for men and women apart from the two individual rapid events.
The team: Men: K. Sasikiran, P. Hari Krishna, Surya Shekhar Ganguly, GN Gopal and B Adhiban.
Women: D. Harika, Tania Sachdev, Eesha Karavade, S. Meenakshi and Nisha Mohota.
Anand held to a draw in China
Nanjing, China: World champion Viswanathan Anand was held to a draw by Vugar Gashimov of Azerbaijan in the ninth and penultimate round of the Pearl Spring chess tournament.
Meanwhile, Magnus Carlsen of Norway outplayed former world champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria to claim the title and also the winner's cheque of Rs 50 lakh with one round still to come in the six-player double round-robin event.
For Anand, it was the second draw with Gashimov in the tournament and this time the Indian ace had an easy time with black pieces. The other game of the day between Etienne Bacrot of France and Wang Yue of also ended in a draw.
With just one round to come, Carlsen has an unassailable lead of 1.5 points with 6.5 points in his bag now. Anand and Bacrot continued to share the second spot on five points each, while Gashimov moved up in standings to be sole fourth now on four points.
Topalov stands fifth on 3.5 points and Wang is in the cellar on three points now. The race for the title though, is over.