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Indian Chess League slated for end-September start

Indian Chess League Slated For Endseptember Start
Photo Credit : IANS

Chennai: With the world’s top chess players being busy with various tournaments, the Indian Chess League (ICL) is expected to be held in September 2022 from the earlier announced June/July 2022, it is learnt.

“There are major chess events before September and the world’s top chess players may not be available for ICL. In June the FIDE Candidates tournament is slated. Hence the league is now slated for end September,” sources in the know told IANS not wanting to be quoted.

Further, if India wins the bid to hold the 44th Chess Olympiad which is expected to be held in July/August, then the ICL slated in September will have a huge advantage in terms of following and publicity.

The Kolkata-based Gameplan Sports Private Limited has won the exclusive rights to hold, organise, promote and market the ICL.

It is learnt the game format will be blitz and rapid with six teams each having 8-9 members with a mix of foreign and Indian players.

“Not more than one-third of the team strength should consist of foreign players. And chess super Grandmasters — who have a rating of over 2,700 Elo points — should not be bought for less than Rs 30 lakh,” Bharat Singh Chauhan, secretary, AICF told IANS.

It is also said the maximum number of foreign players will be four and the minimum to be three.

The team will be a mix of male, female and juniors –boy and girls. The ratio of male-female (including juniors) has not been frozen.

Earlier announcing the ICL, Chauhan had said each team will consist of eight players, including two Super GMs, two Indian GMs, two Women GM and one junior Indian boy and girl each.

The criteria for becoming a franchisee owner is yet to be finalised by AICF and Gameplan Sports.

However, chess officials told IANS that the initial response from the corporates for the league is encouraging.

Meanwhile, chess players are eagerly waiting to know about the fate of AICF’s bid to host the Olympiad in the country. The results of the bid are expected to be known in a couple of days’ time.

By Venkatachari Jagannathan

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