The Global Chess League will be held in the Gold City of the world, Dubai from June 21, 2023 – July 2, 2023.
The joint venture between Tech Mahindra and FIDE, the GCL introduces a couple of new facets into the sport’s system, bringing in franchises and a new mixed-team format, both of which have piqued the interest levels of those involved.
Indian ace Raunak Sadhwani, who earned himself the Grandmaster’s title in 2020 when he was 13 years old will be representing the Balan Alaskan Knights at Global Chess League. Showcasing his excitement about the Global Chess League, he said, “I think it’s definitely an amazing initiative which gives players opportunities to showcase their games. And I personally enjoy playing team events more. Firstly, it’s fun to be with the team throughout the event where we can discuss about many things like pre-game preparation, and post-game analysis. In team events, every person plays a part in the overall success of the team. This is a great way to see how you can make a difference,” the 17-year-old said.
“We make new friends and get to know many interesting things about them. I think it will be interesting to have both men and women in the same team. It also adds different dynamics in the team.”
Sadhwani, who is the 10th youngest player in history (as of date) and the 4th youngest Indian to become a Grandmaster, hails from Nagpur in Maharashtra and was the U-10 Commonwealth Champion in 2015. When asked about what caught his eye the most in terms of the Global Chess League, Sadhwani replied, “Frankly speaking, I was very excited when I came to know about this league and was eagerly waiting for it. The format really attracted me because it is a very interesting and unique idea to get 36 very strong players in one league. I decided to be a part of this prestigious event as it gives me an opportunity to compete against strong opponents, gain experience and at the same time have fun.”
While Sadhwani believes that the Global Chess League can have the same kind of effect on the sport as the IPL did on cricket. “The Global Chess League is the first of its kind which will make the sport more popular on the global level and hopefully after such a great initiative there will be more such leagues around the globe in the coming years. I think more young players will get interested in the game after following this league. I hope in the same way more young players pick up Chess as a sport after GCL.” He added, “In cricket we have IPL and after it was introduced in 2008, we saw so many young players picking up the game and the face of the sport changed as well.”
Sadhwani, who had begun his journey in the sport of chess at the age of 7 years old, is quite impressed with the talent that the pipeline has been throwing up in India. “There are many young Indian talents who are performing really well and making up their mark on an international level. The Global Chess League is an excellent start and I hope in the coming years, India will also have its own chess league like many other European countries.”
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