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Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen is looking forward to playing in the Global Chess League, to be held in Dubai in June. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: World Rapid Chess champion Magnus Carlsen is looking forward to the “exciting prospect” of being part of the inaugural Global Chess League to be held in UAE from June 21 to July 2.

Grandmaster Carlsen, a five-time world champion, said: “It is an exciting prospect for me to be a part of the Global Chess League. 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 in the future.”

Double round-robin format

The league, a joint venture between Tech Mahindra and world governing body FIDE, in association with the Dubai Sports Council, 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 and be crowned the World Champion Franchise Team.

Carlsen, who is 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. I am looking forward to meeting the other players in the team, and competing with and against the exciting young generation of Indian players. One of the really good things about this tournament is that men and women can compete against each other at the same stage. I believe this is a positive move for chess.”

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Magnus Carlsen still has fond memories when he earned his Grandmaster norm at the age of 13. Image Credit: Reuters

Carlsen also rated the Indian talent that is coming through very highly. “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,” he added.

Fond memory

Grandmaster Carlsen also reminisced about his best memories from 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,” he said.

The inaugural Global Chess League, to be held at Dubai Chess & Culture Club, is the world’s first and largest official franchise league of its kind, with chess players from all over the world competing in a unique joint team format. Playing on the popular Rapid format, the league’s joint male-female teams will have the rare distinction of being a unique multiplayer team in the world of professional sports. In addition, the League will be the first ever Live televised chess event of its kind that will help offer fans a unique viewing experience.