It's back to the board for Chess' grandmasters

The world's most elite chess players are back at the board, ready to resume a tournament in Russia, after the global health crisis abruptly halted it more than a year ago.

But organizers are now banking on fresh safety measures to ensure there are no hiccups this time around.

The International Chess Federation suspended the Candidates Tournament as Russia announced it was grounding international flights - prompting concern that foreign players would struggle to get home.

Unlike chess pieces, the security situation at the Yekaterinburg tournament, is not black and white.

Tournament organizers say the eight grandmasters taking part would be tested no earlier than 72 hours before the tournament - and would not be required to wear masks.

Handshakes, though typical at the end of a chess game, are also optional.

Spectators will be able to watch in limited numbers.

The winner will challenge reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway for the title later this year.

The eight players taking part are France's Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Russian grandmasters Ian Nepomniachtchi, Alexander Grischuk and Kirill Alekseenko, China's Wang Hao and Ding Liren, American Fabiano Caruana and Anish Giri of the Netherlands.