Exclusive: Dubai likely to host Global Chess League

Top Grandmasters in the world like reigning five-time world champion Magnus Carlsen and Russian Grandmaster Ian Nepomniachtchi are likely to feature in the event

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James Jose

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Five-time world champion Vishwanathan Anand will be the mentor of the League. — Fide
Five-time world champion Vishwanathan Anand will be the mentor of the League. — Fide

Published: Fri 21 Apr 2023, 11:10 PM

Dubai has cemented itself as one of the top sporting destinations in the world with the city hosting a plethora of world-class events. And joining that impressive and burgeoning list could be the Global Chess League.

A source close to the new event revealed that Dubai is more than likely to play host to the League, which is the world’s largest and first-ever league-styled chess tournament.

A joint venture by Fide, the world governing body for chess and Tech Mahindra, the Global Chess League will be held from June 21 to July 2.

The League will have six teams with six players in each team, including a minimum of two female players and one icon player per team.

The first season will see 10 round-robin matches followed by the final between the top two teams. The teams will compete in the rapid format. The winning team will be crowned the World Champion Franchise Team.

The source also confirmed that five-time world champion Vishwanathan Anand will be the mentor of the League.

Top Grandmasters in the world like reigning five-time world champion Magnus Carlsen, Russian Grandmaster Ian Nepomniachtchi, who is currently involved in an engrossing battle for the world chess title with China's Ding Liren at Astana in Kazakhstan, are likely to feature in the event, the source added.

Meanwhile, the League unveiled its logo, which resembles a chess-board with 64 squares.

"As we inch closer to the start of the tournament, we are seeing all our plans come to fruition," Viswanathan Anand said in a statement released by the organisers.

"The GCL logo is a reflection of the vision that we have for the tournament. We hope the fans will like the concept and theme we created here. The primary objective of GCL is to promote the sport of chess globally and make it visually attractive for the masses," he added.

Each team will compete in 10 matches in the rapid format across all six boards in the tournament.

Meanwhile, Sutovsky Emil, CEO, Fide, said: “GCL aims to change how chess is played, viewed and visualized globally. We are only a few weeks away from the inaugural season, and we are happy to launch the official logo of the league. Fide looks forward to an exciting debut of the GCL in June 2023.”

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