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  • Writer's pictureAbigail Mathias

Checkmate!

The biggest names in Chess -- Ding Liren, Magnus Carlsen, Viswanathan Anand and Hou Yifan, part of Global Chess League stellar showdown in Dubai

Inaugural Tech Mahindra GCL expected to make history with star players, including six World Champions across categories, from 14 different countries.


It isn't every day that you get to sit within close distance to some of the smartest minds in sport. The Global Chess League (GCL), a joint venture between Tech Mahindra

and world governing body FIDE, have announced the complete list of players for the

upcoming inaugural edition, to be held at the Dubai Chess and Culture Club from June 21 to July 2.


The GCL, in association with the Dubai Sports Council, will feature reigning World Chess

Champion Ding Liren, the world’s top-ranked chess player and five-time World Champion

Magnus Carlsen, five-time World Champion Viswanathan Anand, and four-time Women’s

World champion Hou Yifan, among others.




Grandmaster Liren, said: "Global Chess League appeared to be a fantastic opportunity

from the moment I heard about it. Not only is it an interesting format, but also, as an Icon

player, I get to contribute to an exciting concept that will change the face of the chess world

for years to come. Further, knowing that GCL will see participation from players worldwide, it

will be a strong field, and I look forward to meeting all the players.”


All teams will compete in a one-of-a-kind joint team format at GCL, with each team

consisting of six players with a minimum of two women chess players per team. Besides

Liren and Carlsen, four former world champions will add to the thrilling level of competition -

2021 World Rapid Chess Champion Nodirbek Abdusattorov, 2008 Blitz Chess World Champion Leinier Domínguez, three-time Blitz Chess World Champion Alexander

Grischuk, and 2018 World Rapid Chess Champion Daniil Dubov.


Global Chess League will also feature top female superstars, including Grandmaster (GM)

Hou Yifan, a four-time Women’s World Chess Champion and the second highest-rated

female player of all time. She was a chess prodigy who was the youngest female player ever to qualify for the title of grandmaster at the age of 14.


Yifan will be accompanied by WGMs Koneru Humpy, Harika Dronavalli, Kateryna Lagno,

Alexandra Kosteniuk, Tan Zhongyi, Nana Dzagnidze, Bella Khotenashvili, Nino

Batsiashvili, Irina Krush, International Master Polina Shuvalova, and 2018 European

Women's Champion in rapid chess, Elisabeth Paehtz.


Yifan, a four-time women’s world chess champion, said, “Global Chess League has

already sparked widespread interest. I am grateful to Tech Mahindra and FIDE for inviting

me to participate in the league's inaugural season, and I cannot wait for the season to begin."


In addition to the renowned champions, the league will provide a stage for emerging talent

from diverse nations, offering them an opportunity to compete against the very best in the

world. Six U21 players will also compete in the GCL, with the trio of Grandmasters,

Praggnanandhaa R., Raunak Sadhwani, and Nihal Sarin, leading the pack of prodigies

for India. GMs Jonas Buhl Bjerre, Javokhir Sindarov and chess prodigy GM Andrey

Esipenko complete the list of players in the category.

The FIDE President, Arkady Dvorkovich, said, “The Tech Mahindra Global Chess League

will feature chess icons, legends, and world champions from around the world, and we

are excited to see the biggest names in chess compete for the top prize. This league

promises a never-before-seen level of thrilling chess action, and the anticipation is palpable. We are confident the league will usher in a new era in the modern chess ecosystem.”

In addition to the players mentioned above, the Global Chess League will feature several

other superstars of chess, including Grandmasters Vidit Gujrathi, Gukesh D, Arjun

Erigaisi, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Teimour Radjabov, Yi Wei, Yu Yangyi, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Richard Rapport, Kirill Shevchenko, Jan-Krzysztof Duda and Salem

Salah.


The league is expected to set the standards for technological innovations in the sport of chess as Tech Mahindra and FIDE will explore innovative ways to promote the game through interactive technology-enabled platforms by leveraging next-generation technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality, among others.



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