The Chess Super League, an online competition with international top grandmasters as well as Indian players and juniors, will kick off on October 11, 2021. The league has a prize fund of Rs.40 lakh ($54,000 USD). The games will be played on Chess.com.
The first season of this brand new Indian league will run October 11-17, 2021 featuring six top grandmasters (male and female), six top players from India (male and female), and six top Indian juniors (boys and girls).
Among the players who have confirmed participation are GMs Ding Liren, Anish Giri, Teimour Radjabov, Hikaru Nakamura, Vidit Gujrathi, Hou Yifan, Anna Muzychuk, Mariya Muzychuk, Humpy Koneru, Gukesh D., and Raunak Sadhwani.
The games will be played with a time control of 15 minutes plus a 10-second increment. The first five days will see a league stage with different pools, from which the top four teams will qualify for the playoffs.
The teams will be spearheaded by franchise owners who will support and represent their squad through the league, including the likes of Tanmay Bhat, Raftaar (Kalamkaar), Zakir Khan, MortaL (S8ul), Biswa Kalyan Rath, and Shreyas Srinivasan (CEO, PayTM insider). These franchise owners will act as ambassadors and will be the torchbearers for their teams for the entirety of the league.
The Chess Super League is a cooperation between Samay Raina, ChessBase India, and Nodwin Gaming (South Asia’s leading esports company). Raina is one of the world’s top chess streamers; Chessbase India is the Indian-focused branch of the chess company Chessbase, based in Hamburg, Germany.
“Chess Super League is the first property that we are announcing after the acquisition of the gaming business of OML and is a testimony to the fact that gaming, eSports, and comedy have significant synergies and shall come together in a big way,” said Akshat Rathee, Managing Director of Nodwin Gaming: “It is a sampling of many such collaborations between the different forms of gaming entertainment that the world will see,” he added.
While the games will be played on Chess.com, the live broadcast will be on Samay’s YouTube channel, and will feature IM Sagar Shah (CEO, ChessBase India) and Samay as the hosts and commentators. Starting in early 2020, the duo has garnered over 650 million views to date (as of September 2021).
“I have enjoyed streaming chess with Sagar and have been incredibly lucky to have some of the best players in the world play chess on my channel and the best fans in the world watching us have fun week after week,” said Raina. “The logical next step is to launch a league that will feature some of the best talents from India and around the world and I can’t be happier than to be able to do it now. Fans will love the competitive intensity of what we have planned and as always will enjoy the thrill of watching high-quality chess with us.”