World Rapid Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen on Wednesday described the Global Chess League (GCL) a unique concept “Something that has not been done this way in over-the-board chess.”
A joint venture between Tech Mahindra and FIDE, the inaugural edition of the GCL is scheduled to be held from 21 June to 2 July in Dubai.
The former five-time world champion and current world Rapid Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen will be one of the icon players in the GCL . “It is an exciting prospect for me to be a part of. This will be something new. Something that has not been done this way in over-the-board chess. I am looking forward to exploring this format for future.” he said
The league will see each of the six franchises play a total of 10 matches in a double round-robin format, with the winner of each match being decided in a best-of-six board scoring system played simultaneously. The top two teams will qualify for the final on July 2, 2023, and be crowned the World Champion Franchise Team.
Carlsen known for his experimental views on chess believes that team format matches are something that he really prefers. “Personally, I very much enjoy team events and the team spirit within the group. So, it is something I always look forward to. I am looking forward to meeting the other players in the team, and I look forward to competing with and against the exciting young generation of Indian players. One of the really good things about this tournament is men and women can compete against each other at the same stage.”
The world champion also rated the Indian talent that is coming through very highly by saying, “I think India is doing a lot of right things so far, and it is a matter of time before it is clearly the leading chess nation in the world.”
Talking about Tech Mahindra’s involvement with the league ,he said it’s a welcome move. “I am happy that an ambitious partner like Tech Mahindra has joined the chess ecosystem. I believe this is a positive move for chess.”
Carlsen also reminisced about his chess journey and said that he is thankful for his family’s support. “My family has always been very supportive without ever pushing me, and for that, I’m very grateful. The year we travelled together when I was 13, earning my Grandmaster norms, will always be a fond memory.”