The Chess Super League is here!

by ChessBase India
10/9/2021 – The Chess Super League is a grand event which will be held online from the 11th to the 17th of October 2021. Samay Raina, ChessBase India and Nodwin Gaming have come together to launch the league which will be known as the Chess Super League. Each team will be owned by a well-known celebrity and will consist of top international and Indian players, like Ding, Giri, Radjabov, Nakamura, Hou Yifan, the Muzychuk sisters, Gujrathi, Harika, Gukesh, and many more.

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Nodwin Gaming, South Asia's leading esports company,  Samay Raina, one of the world’s top chess streamers and ChessBase India, India’s largest chess media company, are partnering to launch a new and exciting online chess league called the Chess Super League (CSL).

The first season of the Chess Super League will run between 8-11 pm from 11th to 17th October 2021 featuring top grandmasters from across the globe - six  teams of six players each will give viewers the rare opportunity to see grandmasters come together to battle for a prize pool of a whopping Rs. 40 Lakhs.

Well-known players who have confirmed their participation are Ding Liren, Anish Giri, Teimour Radjabov, Hikaru Nakamura, Hou Yifan, the Muzychuk sisters, Koneru Humpy, Vidit Gujrathi, D. Harika, Gukesh, Raunak Sadhwani and many more. The teams will be spearheaded by franchise owners who will support and represent their squad through the Chess Super League. The franchise owners will act as ambassadors and will be the torch bearers for their teams for the entirety of the league. 

Samay Raina and Sagar Shah

Sagar Shah and Samay Raina produce streaming chess commentary and educational streams to up to 75,000 people watching concurrently.

The league will be broadcast on Samay’s YouTube channel, and will feature Sagar Shah (CEO, ChessBase India) and Samay as the hosts and commentators. Sagar and Samay began streaming chess together in early 2020. Their extremely entertaining yet highly informative streams have garnered over 650 million views to date as the unique chemistry they share creates chess content that can be understood and enjoyed by amateurs and professionals alike. 

The Players

The league will six teams and each team consists of:

  1. six international fgrandmasters
  2. six Indian grandmasters
  3. six  international female players
  4. six  Indian female players
  5. six Indian juniors
  6. six Indian junior girls

Until now four International GMs have confirmed their participation: Anish Giri (2777), Ding Liren (2799), Teimour Radjabov (2763) and Hikaru Nakamura (2736)

Top six  Indian GMs who will be taking part are Vidit Gujrathi (2727), K. Sasikiran (2647), S.P. Sethuraman (2628), Karthikeyan Murali (2624), Abhijeet Gupta (2612) and Koneru Humpy (2586). Yes, Koneru Humpy would be crossing swords against the male participants in the event.

Some of the most amazing female players internationally will be taking part in the event –the strongest active female player on the planet Hou Yifan (2658), the Muzychuk sisters, Anna (2534) and Mariya (2540), Nana Dzagnidze (2525) and Alexandra Kosteniuk (2526). All hold full GM titles. We have one more player who will be confirmed in the days to come.

The best of Indian female chess - D. Harika (2511), Tania Sachdev (2392), Bhakti Kulkarni (2388), Mary Ann Gomes (2354), Soumya Swaminathan (2351) and Eesha Karavade (2345)

D. Gukesh (2599), Raunak Sadhwani (2603), Aryan Chopra (2585), Arjun Kalyan (2532), P. Iniyan (2522) and Harshit Raja (2494) are the Indian juniors who would be taking part. All of them are full grandmasters.

Savitha Shri (2281), Mrudul Dehankar (2256), K. Priyanka (2218), Arpita Mukherjee (2218) and Saina Salonika (2206) are the junior girls who will be playing in the league.

Please note: We approached all the top players of Indian chess including Anand, Harikrishna, Adhiban, Nihal, Praggnanandhaa, Vaishali, Arjun Erigaisi, Divya Deshmukh etc. They all had prior commitments and couldn't participate.


In order to make the tournament more exciting, there is the rule of swapping. This can take place between boards 1 and 2 (International and Indian GM) and boards 3 and 4 (International and Indian women players). It cannot happen on boards 5 and 6. Let's assume a case of team A (this is just for the sake of explanation):

Team A:

1. Ding Liren
2. Vidit Gujrathi
3. Hou Yifan
4. Harika
5. Gukesh
6. Savitha Shri

Team B

1. Hikaru Nakamura
2. K. Sasikiran
3. Anna Muzychuk
4. Tania Sachdev
5. Raunak Sadhwani
6. Mrudul Dehankar

Imagine before the submission of the team order, Team A decided to swap on boards 1 and 2 but not on 3 and 4. And Team B decided to swap on boards 3 and 4 but not on 1 and 2. This means that Vidit Gujrathi comes on board 1 and plays Hikaru Nakamura, while Ding Liren takes on K. Sasikiran. Hou Yifan on board 3 will play against Tania Sachdev while Harika will be up against Anna Muzychuk. On boards 5 and 6 the players cannot swap and have to play the opponents in their category.

Prize money

Total Prize Pool ₹30,00,000 

1st Prize 1,200,000 (US $16,245)
2nd Prize 750,000 (US $10,150)
3rd Prize 600,000 (US $8,100)
Best Player of the League in each section - 50,000 (US $675) x 6 = Rs.3,00,000
More Prizes of Rs.1,50,000 will be announced.
The 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes will be divided among the 6 players in the team equally.

Apart from this there is a separate prize fund of Rs. 1,000,000 (US $13,500) for the owners of the teams which will be divided between the first three places in the following amounts – (Rs. 450,000, Rs. 350,000 and Rs. 200,000)


The games will be played with a time control of 15 minutes + 10 seconds increment. The league stage in a Round Robin format will last for five days, and the top four teams will qualify to the playoffs. Two teams will be eliminated. Each day, the games will start at 8 p.m. IST and will go on until 11 p.m. At any given point 12 players (six players in one team) will play which will allow the match to be broadcast and commentated upon with the greatest possible efficiency.

On 16th of October, the teams that finish first and second will play the qualifier 1, and the teams that finish 3 and 4 will play the eliminator 1. The winner of qualifier one goes to the finals. Eliminator 2 consists of the loser of qualifier 1 against the winner eliminator 1. The winner of Eliminator 2 goes to the finals. The finals will be held on the 17th of October 2021. 

Team names

The team names will soon be revealed along with the team logos. But just to give you an idea, here's a team name along with the logo – Ruthless Rooks!

Six teams will be created with an approximate equal average rating so that each one of them would have a fair chance of winning the tournament.


The league will witness the strictest of anti-cheating measures in place and to this end, three International Arbiters will be working at the event: IA Vivek Sohani (Chief Arbiter), IA Anandh Babu VL and IA Vasanth BH.

Important links

ChessBase India is currently the biggest chess news portal and chess software distributor in India. We have daily reports about tournaments in India, profiles of the best talents and information about players performing admirably at the international level. Our motto is “Powering Chess in India”. Apart from news, we provide all the services that are required to ease the life of a chess player.


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