The Indian Chess Tour, which will be the official circuit for the country's players to qualify for and participate in the global Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, will kick off next year.

The new tour will be conducted by Play Magnus Group (PMG), founded by world champion Magnus Carlsen, in partnership with Mobile Premier League (MPL), a press release said.

India will be the only chess nation with its regional expansion that can guarantee players on the elite Champions Tour, which carries a total prize pot of USD 1.6 million this year.

The tour will comprise four online tournaments followed by a Final where the winner will be crowned Indian Chess Tour Champion 2022.

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The mains sponsors will conduct four qualifiers on its platform where each winner will receive entry to each tournament and compete against top Indian GMs in the Indian Chess Tour.

The winner of each tournament will receive an invitation to the multi-million dollar Meltwater Champions Chess Tour and an opportunity to play against the world's best chess players including world chess champion and highest rated player of all time, Carlsen.

Seven Indian players have participated in the 2021 season of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour.

They included Koneru Humpy, Grandmaster stars Vidit Gujrathi, P Harikrishna and B Adhiban, as well as under-18 prodigies R Praggnanandha, D Gukesh and Arjun Erigaisi.

The matches will be streamed on chess24, chess24india and MPL's YouTube and Facebook channels.