The Global Chess League set to revolutionize the game   

The Global Chess League has introduced six franchises for its first edition, aiming to attract 600 million viewers across 160 countries

(Chess News) On June 5th, 2023, the inaugural edition of the Global Chess League (GCL) was announced by Tech Mahindra and FIDE. This groundbreaking league, which aims to transform the chess landscape, unveiled the six participating franchises. The league will commence with a players’ draft, where franchise owners will select players for their respective teams.

The GCL is set to redefine the world of chess by bringing together renowned players such as Viswanathan Anand, Ding Liren, Magnus Carlsen, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Hou Yifan, Kateryna Lagno, and other talented individuals. Additionally, distinguished sports entrepreneurs will serve as franchise owners. The franchises committed to driving this chess revolution forward are U SPORTS, Insurekot Sports (ISPL), Punit Balan Group, Triveni Engineering & Industries Ltd., Chingari App, and APL Apollo-led SG Sports.

Scheduled to take place from June 21st to July 2nd, 2023, the league’s venue is the Dubai Chess and Culture Club.

The President of FIDE, Arkady Dvorkovich, expressed his excitement as the Tech Mahindra Global Chess League (GCL) moved closer to becoming a reality. He acknowledged the league’s visionary partners and warmly welcomed the franchise owners and their teams, anticipating a successful and impactful league.

Jagdish Mitra, Chairperson of the Global Chess League Board, highlighted the GCL’s pioneering status as the world’s first and largest official franchise league of its kind. He emphasized the league’s objective to enhance the fan experience through digitization, innovation, and technology. Mitra also emphasized the league’s commitment to equal opportunities by incorporating men, women, and U21 players. With an advanced broadcast reaching a massive audience of 600 million viewers across 160 countries, GCL aims to captivate and engage new fans worldwide, creating a lasting legacy.

Three experienced sports entrepreneurs, namely U SPORTS, Insurekot Sports, and Punit Balan Group, have joined the GCL as franchise owners. These entities have established successful investments in various sports franchises. Additionally, Triveni Engineering & Industries Ltd., Chingari App, and APL Apollo-led SG Sports have joined the ranks of franchise owners, bringing a fresh perspective to the league.

U SPORTS, led by Ronnie Screwvala, will make its international debut with the upGrad Mumba Masters team in the GCL. Suhail Chandhok, CEO of U Mumba & upGrad Mumba Masters, expressed enthusiasm for being part of the chess revolution and praised the league’s efforts to expand the reach of chess globally.

Insurekot Sports (ISPL), owned by Suresh Kotak, will lead the Ganges Grandmasters franchise. Kailash Kandpal, CEO of Insurekot Sports Private Limited, expressed their dedication to promoting sports with immense growth potential and eagerly awaited the start of the league.

The Punit Balan Group (PBG), led by Mr. Punit Balan, will own the Balan Alaskan Knights team. Balan emphasized the vision of GCL to change the perception of chess globally and expressed pride in representing India in this game-changing league.

Triveni Engineering & Industries Limited, a major integrated sugar manufacturer in India, and Triveni Turbine Limited will make their sports debut with Triveni Continental Kings. Dhruv M. Sawhney, Chairman of both companies, expressed excitement for this venture and emphasized the alignment between chess and their core values of strategic thinking and intellectual prowess.

Chingari App, the world’s fastest-growing Web3 Social Networking App, will enter the sports business with its team Chingari Gulf Titans in the GCL. Sumit Ghosh, Co-founder & CEO of Chingari, emphasized the intersection of celebrating chess’s legacy and utilizing technology to elevate fan engagement.

APL Apollo-led SG Sports, a leading building material company in India, will join the GCL with its team SG Alpine Warriors. Sanjay Gupta, Group Chairman, expressed enthusiasm for GCL’s ability to bring a new level of excitement to chess and their commitment to being India’s leading sports brand.

With a strong vision and long-term commitment, the GCL revealed its plans for the first two seasons, featuring six dedicated franchises. The tournament will adopt a unique mixed-team format, with each franchise playing 10 matches in a double round-robin style. The winner of each match will be determined through a best-of-six board scoring system played simultaneously. The top two teams will then compete in the final on July 2, 2023, with the ultimate goal of becoming the World Champion Franchise Team.

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