World champion Viswanathan Anand will start his campaign with black pieces against defending champion Grandmaster Sergey Karjakin of Ukraine in the first round of the Corus Chess tournament.
The 14-player round robin event has some of the best names of the game including Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, Levon Aronian of Armenia and World number one Magnus Carlsen of Norway.
Five times winner Anand will be eyeing his sixth title on one of his favourite hunting grounds and will also use this opportunity as a much-needed practice before the World championship clash with Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria slated for April this year.
Topalov is giving this year's tournament a miss.
Apart from the big guns in group A, there are two more important events -- B and C group -- to be organized simultaneously.
Grandmasters P Harikrishna and world's second youngest Grandmaster ever Parimarjan Negi will be seen in action in the tough B group while in the C group the Indian challenge will be headed by former world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta and reigning world junior girls' champion Soumya Swaminathan.
Anand drew the number-14 in the drawing of lots, which means that the Indian ace will get seven black and six white games during the 13-rounds long tournament.