With participation from the world’s finest players, they do qualify for the “elite” tag. But why are International Masters allowed to play in the events that have the strongest Grandmasters in the event?
It is quite another matter that most of the top-ranked players faced early elimination from the World Cup, with top-rung GMs Levon Aronian of Armenia and Ding Liren of China now fighting for the top place.
They are great platforms for up-and-coming players to compete with the finest in the game. Just as the tennis Grand Slam events are for promising young players.
But at least one of the 100+ chess players at the Isle of Man tournament is a non-serious contender with no plans as yet to become a full-time, professional player.
I am referring to IM Jonas Lampert (20) from Germany, who played well to draw his Isle of Man second-round game with Viswanathan Anand. Perhaps he will stop being an amateur if he has a great run at the tournament.
G Joslin Vethakumar