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Global Chess League Unveils Six Franchises for its Second Season in London

The Global Chess League on Monday unveiled the six franchises for its second season to be held in London from October 3 to 12 at the Friends House.

The second season will see the debut of a new team, American Gambits, owned by business leaders Prachura PP, Venkat K Narayana, and Indian cricketer and chess enthusiast Ravichandran Ashwin.

The six franchises competing in the second season include Alpine SG Pipers (APL Apollo-led SG Sports), Ganges Grandmasters (Insurekot Sports), Mumba Masters (Unilazer Ventures), PBG Alaskan Knights (Punit Balan Group), and the inaugural season champions Triveni Continental Kings (Triveni Engineering & Industries Limited).

The second season will also see the debut of a new team, American Gambits, owned by prominent business leaders Prachura PP, Venkat K. Narayana, and Indian Cricket Icon and Chess Enthusiast Ravichandran Ashwin.

Sameer Pathak, CEO, Global Chess League, said, “We are thrilled to welcome the teams for the second season of the Global Chess League. We have found the right partners to strengthen the league’s global reach and look forward to bringing an exciting season of chess to fans worldwide. The teams made season one a huge success and we believe that their impact and popularity will continue to expand in the world of chess.”

The players will compete in a unique joint team format consisting of six players, including two top women chess players and a prodigy player per team. Adding to the excitement and anticipation among fans, this innovative format will be aired on major OTT and broadcast platforms worldwide.

American Gambits, owned by prominent business leaders Prachura PP, Venkat K. Narayana, and Indian Cricket Icon and chess enthusiast Ravichandran Ashwin, will set a new precedence in the sport by joining the first-of-its-kind innovative league.

Prachura PP, said, “The Global Chess League is the most exciting league to emerge in the world of chess where topmost players worldwide battle for their teams. For a sport played in over 190 countries, and one that has no age or gender bar, owning a franchise is a wonderful opportunity.”

Co-owner and Indian Cricket Icon, R Ashwin, added, “We’re thrilled to introduce the American Gambits to the chess world. With a blend of strategic brilliance and unwavering determination, our team aims to redefine the game. As co-owner, I’m excited to witness their journey and contribute to their success.”

SG Sports, returns for the second season with a re-energized and rebranded team, Alpine SG Pipers.

Rohan Gupta, Director, SG Sports & Entertainment, said, “The success of the first season has brought a new level of excitement among chess lovers worldwide. We are elated to be associated with the Global Chess League and eagerly await the players draft that will further shape our ambition to do well in the second season.”

The next in the illustrious list is Ganges Grandmasters team owned by the leading sporting house, Insurekot Sports (ISPL), which also owns Puneri Pultan in Pro Kabaddi League and Ultimate Table Tennis League.

Kailash Kandpal, CEO, Insurekot Sports Private Limited, said, “We witnessed the potential that chess has globally through the success of the first season. As a franchise, we are committed to popularizing the sport globally and look forward to a brand new season in London.”

The finalists of the first season, Mumba Masters, owned by Ronnie Screwvala led Unilazer Ventures aims to continue their sporting successes in Chess, Kabaddi, Table Tennis, and eSports in India.

Suhail Chandhok, CEO, U Mumba & Mumba Masters, said, “The first season of the Global Chess League was an incredible experience for us as we dived into the world of chess. We came agonisingly short of being crowned as the inaugural Champions, but the journey with our wonderful group of players was memorable and we look forward to more of the same this season. We anticipate an exciting player draft next month, but hopefully we won’t have too much work to do at the draft given the setup we’ve been fortunate to build on.”

PBG Alaskan Knights, owned by sports entrepreneur and businessman Punit Balan, will make its comeback in the second season with high expectations. Backed by Punit Balan Group, the team intends to deploy experience of owning league winning teams in other sports as well. 

Punit Balan, Owner of PBG Alaskan Knights, said, “As a sporting brand, we envision to champion the growth of chess ecosystem worldwide. We are very thrilled with how the Global Chess League has shaped up since its first season. We are confident that the league will only grow to get more exciting this season in London.”

Triveni Continental Kings, owned by Triveni Sports Private Limited, emerged as the champions of the inaugural season, and look forward to continuing their leadership and retaining the title in the second season.

Dhruv Sawhney, Owner of the Triveni Continental Kings, said,“Chess is the epitome of strategic thinking, which resonates perfectly with Triveni Group’s core values. I have had a long association with chess in India and I am happy that our team won the trophy in season 1 of the Global Chess League which was an incredible experience. With season 2 in London, we look forward to defending our title. I hope the league grows to its full potential and that chess fans hail this as the ultimate tournament.”

In the tournament, each team will 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. Each team will play ten matches across black and white pieces. The teams will play five matches, with all six players in each team initially playing with the white or black pieces against their opponents, followed by a reverse round in which the entire team will play five matches with the reversed colour pieces against the same opponent. The winning team for every match will be determined by the points aggregated from wins and draws across all six games played in the match. The top two teams will advance to the final round.

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