Global Chess League Unveils Six Franchises for Inaugural Edition Set to Reach 600 Million Viewers in 160 Countries | Tech Mahindra

Global Chess League Unveils Six Franchises for Inaugural Edition Set to Reach 600 Million Viewers in 160 Countries

  • A Paradigm Shift in Chess Spectatorship with the Inclusion of World-Class Players and Visionary Franchise Owners
  • U SPORTS, Insurekot Sports(ISPL), Punit Balan Group, Triveni Engineering & Industries Ltd., Chingari App, and APL Apollo-led SG Sports take ownership

The Global Chess League (GCL), a joint venture between Tech Mahindra and FIDE, today unveiled the six participating franchises for its highly anticipated first edition. The league, set to revolutionize the chess ecosystem, will commence with a players' draft where franchise owners will select players for their respective teams.

The GCL aims to redefine the world of chess by bringing together the brightest stars in the game, including Viswanathan Anand, Ding Liren, Magnus Carlsen, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Hou Yifan, Kateryna Lagno, and other renowned players, alongside distinguished sports entrepreneurs as franchise owners. U SPORTS, Insurekot Sports (ISPL), Punit Balan Group, Triveni Engineering & Industries Ltd., Chingari App, and APL Apollo-led SG Sports are the franchises committed to propelling the chess revolution forward. The league is scheduled to take place from June 21st to July 2nd, 2023, at the Dubai Chess and Culture Club.

The FIDE President, Arkady Dvorkovich, said, “Tech Mahindra Global Chess League started as a dream, and as we are heading towards its actualisation, we have found the right partners who believe in the vision. We are excited that such reputed entrepreneurs have joined the ranks of GCL. We want to welcome all the owners and their teams to the GCL family and look forward to making the league a big success.”

Jagdish Mitra, Chairperson of the Global Chess League Board said, "GCL, the world's first and largest official franchise league of its kind, blends traditional chess with the new era, aiming to enhance fan experience through digitization, innovation, and technology. The joint-team format, encompassing men, women, and U21 players, demonstrates our commitment to equal opportunities for all. With a cutting-edge broadcast reaching 600 million viewers in 160 countries, GCL will captivate new fans worldwide. We are delighted to have found the right partners to establish GCL's strong presence across continents and look forward to creating a lasting legacy."

Joining the GCL bandwagon are three experienced sports entrepreneurs U SPORTS, Insurekot Sports, and Punit Balan Group. They are renowned for their successful investments in various franchises across leagues. Apart from the seasoned owners, three new names, Triveni Engineering & Industries Ltd., Chingari App, and APL Apollo-led SG Sports, have joined the franchise owners' ranks. 

  • U SPORTS, led by Ronnie Screwvala, renowned for its sporting successes in sports like Kabaddi, Table Tennis, and eSports in India, will make its international debut with the upGrad Mumba Masters team in the GCL.
  • The second franchise of the tournament will be Ganges Grandmasters, led by Insurekot Sports (ISPL), an entity owned by Suresh Kotak. ISPL also owns the Pro Kabaddi League team & Ultimate Table Tennis League team, Puneri Paltan.
  • The third in this list of illustrious owners is the Punit Balan Group (PBG) which will own the team, Balan Alaskan Knights. Led by entrepreneur, businessman and sportspreneur, Mr Punit Balan, the Punit Balan Group has invested heavily across various sports leagues in India over the last two years and aims to contribute to India's journey of becoming the sporting powerhouse globally.
  • Triveni Engineering & Industries Limited, one of the largest integrated sugar manufacturers in India and a leading player in engineering businesses comprising Power Transmission business and Water & Wastewater treatment solutions, and Triveni Turbine Limited (TTL), a focused, growing and market-leading corporation with core competency in industrial heat & power solutions and decentralized steam-based renewable turbines up to 100 MW size, make their sports debut with Triveni Continental Kings in the GCL
  • Chingari App (Tech4Billion Group), the world's fastest-growing Web3 Social Networking App, whose popularity has skyrocketed since the pandemic, will also debut in the sports business with its team Chingari Gulf Titans in the GCL.
  • The sixth in this list of illustrious owners is APL Apollo-led SG Sports, one of India's largest and most trusted building material company, which will join the GCL bandwagon with its team SG Alpine Warriors.

With a strong vision and long-term commitment to establishing a solid foundation, the Global Chess League (GCL) has unveiled plans to kick off its first two seasons with the participation of six dedicated franchises.

The annual GCL tournament will introduce a unique mixed-team format, wherein each of the six franchises will engage in a total of 10 matches played in a double round-robin style. In this exciting setup, the winner of each match will be determined through a best-of-six board scoring system, played simultaneously. The top two teams emerging from these thrilling encounters will then proceed to the final, scheduled to take place on July 2, 2023, where the ultimate honour of being crowned the World Champion Franchise Team awaits.

About Tech Mahindra Global Chess League:

The Global Chess League is the world's first and largest official franchise league of its kind, with chess players from all over the world competing in a unique joint team format. It is a joint venture between Tech Mahindra, a part of the Mahindra Group, and FIDE. GCL will feature male and female chess champions competing in the same team. Playing on the popular Rapid format, the league's joint male-female teams will have the rare distinction of being a unique multiplayer team in the world of professional sports. In addition, the League will be the first ever Live televised chess event of its kind that will help offer fans a unique viewing experience. 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.


For more information on Tech Mahindra Global Chess League, please contact:      
Abhilasha Gupta, Global Corporate Communications and Public Affairs     

About FIDE

The International Chess Federation (FIDE) is the governing body of the sport of chess, and it regulates all international chess competitions. Constituted as a non-governmental institution, it was recognized by the International Olympic Committee as a Global Sporting Organization in 1999. FIDE currently has its headquarters in Lausanne, but it was initially founded in 1924 in Paris under the motto “Gens una Sumus” (Latin for “We are one Family”). It was one of the very first International Sports Federations, alongside the governing bodies of the sports of Football, Cricket, Swimming, and Auto Racing. It is now one of the largest, encompassing 199 countries as affiliate members, in the form of National Chess Federations. Chess is nowadays a truly global sport, with dozens of millions of players in all the continents, and more than 60 million games on average played every day.