Global Chess League team owners along with Anand Mahindra. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Global Chess League on Monday unveiled the six franchises for its first edition. The league will commence with a players’ draft where franchise owners will select players for their respective teams.

The GCL, a joint venture between Tech Mahindra and Fide, will bring together the brightest stars in the game, including Viswanathan Anand, Ding Liren, Magnus Carlsen, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Hou Yifan, Kateryna Lagno, and other renowned players, alongside distinguished sports entrepreneurs as franchise owners.

U SPORTS (upGrad Mumba Masters), Insurekot Sports (Ganges Grandmasters), Punit Balan Group (Balan Alaskan Knights), Triveni Engineering & Industries Ltd. (Triveni Continental Kings), Chingari App (Chingari Gulf Titans), and APL Apollo-led SG Sports (SG Alpine Warriors) are the franchises, who will be part of the league scheduled to take place from June 21 to July 2 at the Dubai Chess and Culture Club.

Right partners

Fide President, Arkady Dvorkovich, said: “Tech Mahindra Global Chess League started as a dream, and as we are heading towards its actualisation, we have found the right partners who believe in the vision. We are excited that such reputed entrepreneurs have joined the ranks of GCL. We want to welcome all the owners and their teams to the GCL family and look forward to making the league a big success.”

Jagdish Mitra, Chairperson of the Global Chess League Board, said: “GCL, the world’s first and largest official franchise league of its kind, blends traditional chess with the new era, aiming to enhance fan experience through digitisation, innovation, and technology. The joint-team format, encompassing men, women, and U21 players, demonstrates our commitment to equal opportunities for all. With a cutting-edge broadcast reaching 600 million viewers in 160 countries, GCL will captivate new fans worldwide. We are delighted to have found the right partners to establish GCL’s strong presence across continents and look forward to creating a lasting legacy.”

The annual GCL tournament will introduce a unique mixed-team format, wherein each of the six franchises will engage in a total of 10 matches played in a double round-robin style. In this exciting set-up, the winner of each match will be determined through a best-of-six board scoring system, played simultaneously. The top two teams will then proceed to the final, scheduled to take place on July 2.