This year’s Tata Steel India Rapid and Blitz chess tournament was on Wednesday cancelled due to Covid-19 pandemic, the organisers said.

World champion Magnus Carlsen won the tournament last year which was a part of the Grand Chess Tour and had featured 10 Grandmasters, including India’s Viswanathan Anand.

However, the organisers decided to scrap the 2020 edition in view of the global health crisis.

“In view of the pandemic and to ensure safety and well-being of chess enthusiasts and the sports fraternity at large, we have taken a considered view of cancelling the tournament this year,” said Chanakya Chaudhary, vice-president corporate services Tata Steel.

Jeroen Van den Berg, director of the Tata Steel Chess tournaments in both Wijk aan Zee and Kolkata said: “Being in Kolkata for the past two years for the Chess India Rapid and Blitz has been an experience like no other.

“More than anything else, it is the enthusiasm and knowledge of the fans that makes the tournament what it is. Unfortunately, the pandemic has forced us to rethink our plans and we regret that we have to cancel the tournament this year.”

Local organisers Gameplan Sports Pvt Ltd said they look forward to bring back the tournament in 2021.

“We are sure we will be back in 2021 with a great line-up and another engaging version of the chess super tournament,” said Jeet Banerjee, Director of Gameplan Sports Pvt Ltd.