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Monday, October 18, 2021

AICF to have digital & physical Indian Chess League

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By Venkatachari Jagannathan

Chennai, Oct 11 (IANS) It could be a bonanza for the Indian chess players as the All India Chess Federation (AICF) is likely to have two chess leagues – physical and digital, said a senior official.

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The AICF Committee that would decide on the Indian Chess League met the bidders on Sunday and viewed their presentations.

“There will be two leagues – one physical and one digital. Some of the bidders for the Indian Chess League gave their presentation on digital league. Gaming companies want to hold a digital league. The Covid-19 pandemic is still there,” Bharat Singh Chauhan, Secretary, told IANS.

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Declining to share the names of the nine bidders for Indian Chess League Chauhan added: “In general the bidders had said there will be six/eight teams consisting of seven and odd players.”

“They bidders made their presentation. We have sought additional information from them like their financial strength, their budget for the league,” Naresh Sharma, Treasurer told IANS.

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“Our main concern is that the Indian Chess League should be sustainable. It should be a permanent event. We want to be sure about the bidder’s financial strength and the commitment to the game,” Sharma added.

The AICF will have the ultimate control of the Indian Chess League.

“Soon we will decide on the successful bidder for the Indian Chess League,” Chauhan said.

According to Chauhan, as there will be two leagues-digital and physical- there will be two auctions and more money in the hands of the players.

“We had not said anything about the proposed league should be physical. We had left it open,” Chauhan said.

The AICF has invited the EoIs from sports marketing, management and events management companies for the proposed chess league.

According to AICF, the chess league is expected to take off in June 2022.

The Indian chess body had said that the global online chess phenomenon is growing as well as active Indian players and it is the perfect time to start a pan-India franchise-format chess league.

“Our idea is that foreign players should not constitute more than one-third of the team’s strength. And chess super Grandmasters, who have a rating of over 2,700 Elo points, should not be bought for less than Rs 30 lakh,” Chauhan had told IANS earlier.

(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at v.jagannathan@ians.in)



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