New Delhi,26th June 2023 Mr. Sanjay Gupta, Chairman APL Apollo, the owner of SG Alpine Warriors announced a cash incentive of $200000 if the team wins the Tech Mahindra Global Chess League (GCL) here in Dubai.
With World number one for 12 years and five times world Champion Magnus Carlsen as the icon player, a massive talent pool of three young Grand Masters, D Gukesh, Arjun Erigaisi, and R Praggnanandhaa the SG Alpine Warriors are one of the most formidable teams in the GCL. Grand Masters Irina Krush and Elisabeth Paehtz complete the six-member lineup of players led by FIDE Senior Trainer and International Master Vishal Sareen who doubles up as the Captain and Manager of the team.
The incentive announcement was made during a charity match wherein the team players played some games against Mr. Gupta, an avid Chess aficionado himself.
Playing as many as three games against Carlsen, Mr. Gupta said ‘it was an honour’ right at the start of the mini-series as well at the end when he was checkmated for the third time!
When asked about his personal expectations from the event Carlsen quickly replied, “It will be nice if we can do similar checkmates in every match we play here”.
“The GCL is definitely the dawn of a new era in Chess and we are really very excited to be a part of it. This has the power to change the horizon of Chess across the globe, make the youth take to the sport and I am sure that in the years to come it will grow bigger and better, this will propel the sport of chess in to the league of NBA, NFL and IPL”, said Mr. Gupta.
When asked about his personal interest in the game and why he decided to take the team, the team owner gave a rare insight. “We got the franchise barely 24 hours before the actual auction; it was a serious effort on part of our team that we were able to rope in the players that we desired. As it transpired we got a great mix and now we can’t wait for our matches to begin”, he said before quickly adding, “While we want to win it, I am really happy that the SG Sports family is growing and we are super proud of it”.
The Tech Mahindra Global Chess league was inaugurated on Wednesday evening in a glittering ceremony attended by all teams and Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra. Legendry Cricketer Steve Waugh and tennis icon Sania Mirza graced the occasion in a finely orchestrated Q&A session.
The format is unique and exciting at the same time and has captured the imagination of chess players and connoisseurs at the same time. There are six teams in the fray and they play a double round-robin over rapid games with a time control of 15 minutes with a ten second increment. All six players of a team play with the same colour, every win with white gives three points, black four and in case of a draw one point each is shared between both players. At the end of the match, the final score decides the winning team and three match points are given to the winners and in case of a 3-3 draw the teams share a point each.