The 47th Capablanca Memorial chess tournament begins Friday at Havana's Riviera Hotel, gathering more than 200 chess enthusiasts from 20 countries in the Cuban capital for the 10-day event.
The tourney features players in four categories -- elite, premier and two open groups, one for up-and-coming players.
The player to watch will be five-time winner and defending champion Vassily Ivanchuk (2.764), a Grand Master (GM) from Ukraine ranked 10 worldwide by the International Chess Federation.
Ivanchuck will be playing in the elite group, along with five other lead players, including Cuban GMs Leinier Dominguez (2.725) and Yuniesky Quesada (2.625), Russians Lan Nepomniachtchi (2.716) and Vladimir Potkin (2.642), and Victor Laznicka (2.693), from the Czech Republic.
Competing in the premier group are 10 competitors, including Russians Alexander Rakhmanov (2.603) and Vasily Papin (2.570), Chilean Ivan Morovic (2.577), Peruvian Emilio Cordova (2.566) and six Cuban players headed by Yusnel Bacallao (2.580).
More than 100 players will compete in the open groups, all looking to boost their numbers in the tourney, one of Latin America's most prestigious tournaments.
The tournament, first played in 1962, is named after famed Cuban chess player Jose Raul Capablanca, nicknamed the "Human Chess Machine" for his expertise and speed.