The long wait for the PRO Chess League season 2 is over as it officially kicks off on January 18, 2017. This time the league proves to be stronger and better than ever with stalwarts from across the world like Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura, Vishy Anand, Fabiano Caruana, and Wesley So, apart from others, participating.
The league rules stay similar to year one with seven divisional matches followed by the play-offs. All the matches will have a rapid time-control with 15 minutes plus 2 seconds increment with each move, starting from the first move. All the matches will be played on the chess.com server and can be viewed live from all the parts of the globe.
This season also comes with a one-off blitz championship in the middle of February. What is most exciting is the fact that the league gives a platform to the biggest names and the upcoming ones to share the same space and enjoy their games even more.
It also attracts sponsors and enthusiastic fans from far off places. The league also gives away prizes every week including the best social media promotion, best game, best move, etc. apart from the main prizes for the winning teams.
The matches will be held weekly and four players will be fielded for each match, which consists of four games each for each player per side. The matches will also be covered via the live commentary on the Twitch server.
Each team is based on its city's name followed by a nickname. India is being represented by two teams, namely Delhi Dynamite and Mumbai Movers. The Delhi Dynamite team is the only Indian team to have qualified directly this year and the Mumbai Movers got in through the qualifying round, which was held in October,2017.
The Delhi Dynamite and the Movers had also participated last season, with the Dynamite team finishing on top of the podium at the divisional stage, winning the Eastern Division. They went as far as the quarter-finals, losing to the runner-up team from Norway-Norway Gnomes.
The Delhi Dynamite team is represented by Grandmasters Krishnan Sasikiran, who joins in this year as a free agent, Abhijeet Gupta, Sahaj Grover, and Vaibhav Suri, all three of whom are retained from last year. They also have a number of International Masters and local players like Tania Sachdev, Nihal Sareen, Hemant Sharma, and Aradhya Garg.
The team manager- International Master Vishal Sareen- is back from the previous season and looks to guide his team to victory this time.
The Mumbai Movers are supported by India's two topmost Grandmasters Vishy Anand and Vidit Gujrathi. They look to build on their performance from the qualifiers and hope to use their power boosters Anand and Gujrathi to clinch the podium. It's interesting to note that these two will battle it out in the opening match on January 18, 2018.
With all this said and done, one can only wait for the league to start soon. As we inch closer to the opening, we can only dream about who emerges victorious this year. All eyes are set on January 18th for now!Published 04 Jan 2018, 07:31 IST