Five-time world champion Magnus Carlsen feels it is only a matter of time before India becomes a leading chess nation, saying the country is ”doing a lot of right things”.
Carlsen who is the current world rapid chess champion, is widely regarded as the best player of the current generation.
While Indian chess players have done extremely well in global circuit in recent years, the country also successfully hosted the Chess Olympiad last year.
”I think India is doing a lot of right things so far, and it is a matter of time before it is clearly the leading chess nation in the world,” Carlsen was quoted as saying in a press release.
The Norwegian Grandmaster is one of the icon players for the inaugural Global Chess League, which 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.
The GCL is a joint venture between Tech Mahindra and the international chess federation (FIDE), which will witness six teams competing in a minimum of 10 matches each in a double round-robin, rapid format from June 21 to July 2 in Dubai.
”It is an exciting prospect for me to be a part of. This will be something new. Something that has not been done this way in over-the-board chess. I am looking forward to exploring this format for future.” The league will see each of the six franchises play a total of 10 matches in a double round-robin format, with the winner of each match being decided in a best-of-six board scoring system played simultaneously. The top two teams will qualify for the final on July 2 and the winner will be crowned the world champion.
Carlsen, who is known for his experimental views on chess, said he prefers playing in team events. The 32-year-old from Norway is also looking forward to rubbing shoulders with the young Indian players.
”Personally I very much enjoy team events and the team spirit within the group. So, it is something I always look forward to. ”I am looking forward to meeting the other players in the team. I look forward to competing with and against the exciting young generation of Indian players.” 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 multi-player team in the world of professional sports. ”One of the really good things about this tournament is men and women can compete against each other at the same stage,” Carlsen added.