Сhess revolution has started: Global Chess League kicked off with the first two matches.
29 June 2023, 12:00 AM
02 July 2023, 12:00 AM
The inaugural edition of the Global Chess League, which aims to revolutionise chess, has started in Dubai, with the first two matches taking place.
Just before 5.30 PM local time in Dubai, when the first match was due to start, viewers from across the world tuned in to a broadcast to follow the games live on TV. In a first for chess – the game was broadcast live to sports networks on both sides of the Atlantic, from America to Australia. They were all witnessing history in the making as the first two matches of the Global Chess League unfolded on a world stage.
The first teams to face each other were Triveni Continental Kings, who were up against upGrad Mumba Masters.
GCL, a joint venture by Tech Mahindra and world chess body FIDE, is the first-ever league-styled chess tournament.
There are six teams – backed by corporate sponsors and composed of six players in each team – that will compete in double round-robin matches. The teams will accrue points in rapid chess format, and the top two teams will compete in the final for the top prize as the World Champion Franchise Team.
Each team is composed of an icon player, superstars, a minimum of two female players, and a chess prodigy who is 21 or younger.
The teams are Ganges Grandmasters (owned by Insurekot Sports); Triveni Continental Kings (owned by Triveni Group / Triveni Engineering and Industries Ltd. and Triveni Turbine Ltd.); SG Alpine Warriors (owned by APL Apollo-led SG Sports); Chingari Gulf Titans (owned by Chingari App (Tech4Billion Group); upGrad Mumba Masters (owned by U SPORTS); and Balan Alaskan Knights (owned by Punit Balan Group).
Members of each team were selected during a drafting session where each team owner had to bid for the player they wanted in their camp.
The theme of turning chess into a more exciting game for the global audience resonated during the official opening ceremony on Wednesday.
CP Gurnani, managing director and CEO of Tech Mahindra, said GCL will transform the game of chess. Currently, an estimated 600 million people are active or passive chess players and around 130 million play it online. With GCL, the target is to reach out and make around one billion chess players across the globe.