The World Chess Federation (FIDE) has already released declaration forms for players to sign and return by tomorrow. Signing these confirms that a player will participate at the World Cup and observe FIDE tournament guidelines. The document includes many interesting points. It says that players will give press interviews when requested to do so. They will be subjected to doping at any point throughout the tournament. With the International Olympic Committee taking a stern step on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports, the chess body has not been left behind.
The eventual champion has to agree to undertake FIDE chess promotions for free. However, these promotions should in no way interfere with the player's tournament schedule.
The event promises to be a thriller with as many as seven Grand Masters (GM) taking part. These are women whose strength is at par with the best male players in the world. There will be 17 International Masters (IM) and 22 WGMs.
Heading the list is reigning champion GM Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria. She will face stiff competition from former champions GM Xie Xun of China, GM Zsuzsa Polgar of the United States of America and GM Maya Chiburdanidze of Georgia. The World Cup is to be played as a knockout event. The first round losers will each get U$ 3,750, second round losers U$5,500 and third round losers U$8,000. Quarter finalists are guaranteed U$12,000, semi-finalists U$20,000, losing finalists U$30,000.
The women's world chess champion will pocket U$60,000.