Following the success of Indian Premier League, Pro Kabaddi League and Indian Super League, sports leagues have become a trend in the country. As the nation strive towards becoming a multi-sport country, many people are taking efforts to promote different sports in India, through the induction of new leagues. Just a few days back, it had been announced that Prime Volleyball League is set to take place this year.
In a recent development, it has now been confirmed that a never-seen-before kind of league in the sport of Chess has been planned. Samay Raina, ChessBase India and Nodwin Gaming have come together to launch the online tournament which will be called as 'Chess Super League'. It will feature 6 teams of 6 players each and will be conducted from 11th to 17th October 2021 (8 to 11 PM). The matches will be streamed live on Samay Raina's YouTube channel.
This online league is a step in the right direction: Sagar Shah
The announcement comes at a time when the Indian chess scenario is on an all-time high, having won gold and bronze medal in 2020 and 2021 respectively in FIDE Chess Online Olympiad. The performances by Indian Grandmasters have been quite impressive at some of the major global events and with continuous efforts from stand-up comedian Samay Raina and ChessBase India, there has been a tremendous increase in the fan-base for Chess in the country.
“Indian chess is on the rise and experts all across the world have dubbed India as the next powerhouse in the world of chess. We have many strong players, we have many young talents. This online league will give more exposure and opportunity to Indian players, especially the youngsters. Right since its inception, ChessBase India has tried its best to power chess in India and this online league is a step in the right direction.” said Sagar Shah, Co-founder, ChessBase India.
Name of team owners and participants
The league will feature 6 franchises and the owners of the same are as follows: Tanmay Bhat (YouTuber), Raftaar (Music Composer), Zakir Khan (Stand-up Comedian), MortaL (Gamer), Biswa Kalyan Rath (Stand-up Comedian) and Shreyas Srinivasan (CEO, PayTM Insider).
Players (with their ratings) who have so far confirmed their participation for the inaugural edition of Chess Super League are as follows:
International GMs: Anish Giri (2777), Ding Liren (2799), Teimour Radjabov (2763) and Hikaru Nakamura (2736)
Indian GMs: Vidit Gujrathi (2727), K. Sasikiran (2647), S.P. Sethuraman (2628), Karthikeyan Murali (2624), Abhijeet Gupta (2612) and Koneru Humpy (2586)
International Female Players: Hou Yifan (2658), Anna Muzychuk (2534), Mariya Muzychuk (2540), Nana Dzagnidze (2525) and Alexandra Kosteniuk (2526)
Indian Female Players: D.Harika (2511), Tania Sachdev (2392), Bhakti Kulkarni (2388), Mary Ann Gomes (2354), Soumya Swaminathan (2351) and Eesha Karavade (2345)
Indian Juniors: D. Gukesh (2599), Raunak Sadhwani (2603), Aryan Chopra (2585), Arjun Kalyan (2532), P. Iniyan (2522) and Harshit Raja (2494)
Indian Junior (Girls): Savitha Shri (2281), Mrudul Dehankar (2256), K. Priyanka (2218), Arpita Mukherjee (2218) and Saina Salonika (2206)
Some top players like Vishy Anand, Harikrishna, Adhiban, Nihal Sarin, Praggnanandhaa, Vaishali, Arjun Erigaisi, Divya Deshmukh were also approached to take part in the league but they could not confirm their participation due to various commitments.
The final list of players and teams will be revealed in the coming days. Notably, a total prize fund of INR 40 lakh (US$54,000) has been announced for the event.