Dubai to host the world’s first-ever franchise-based Global Chess League

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Dubai: The Global Chess League (GCL), a joint venture between the International Chess Federation (FIDE) and Tech Mahindra, has announced Dubai as the host city for its inaugural edition. The first-of-its-kind franchise-based chess league will take place in Dubai from June 21st to July 2nd, 2023. Six teams, each consisting of six players, including a minimum of two female players and one icon player, will compete in a round-robin format with ten matches each. The top two teams will qualify for the final on July 2nd and be crowned the World Champion Franchise Team.

The GCL aims to revolutionize the game of chess with a unique team vs. team format, creating an ecosystem for the sport and providing a platform for champions worldwide to showcase their potential. It is also set to be the first-ever live-televised chess event of its kind, offering fans a unique viewing experience.

The league is partnering with Dubai Sports Council as its host partner, and the tournament will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The GCL will feature innovative technological solutions such as 5G, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality, among others, to promote the game through interactive technology-enabled platforms.

Viswanathan Anand, five-time world chess champion, and Deputy President, FIDE, said, “Dubai has been attracting various sporting events. The World Chess Championship in Dubai in 2021 during the Dubai Expo was a big success. Similarly, I believe the Global Chess League will mark a new beginning in fan experience. Its unique team format will contribute to the growth and development of chess. The league aims to revolutionize the game by having established and emerging talent play together on the same team. All players, including men, women, and juniors, would contribute equally to their team’s success. I look forward to a fantastic inaugural season.”

The league’s chairperson, Jagdish Mitra, said, “Dubai has emerged as a major global sports and business destination in the last decade. Its significant role in bolstering the UAE’s digital economy and strengthening its position as a global knowledge hub is noteworthy. This makes Dubai an ideal location for hosting the inaugural edition of a tournament like the Global Chess League. We believe that our partnership with Dubai Sports Council, the official sports governing body of the Government of Dubai, is a major step forward in further strengthening our ties with the country. We look forward to hosting a successful league in Dubai and ushering in a new era for the sport.

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