To listen click here
Chennai, June 23 – Even before SG Alpine Warriors begin their campaign in the Global Chess League (GCL), the team has been promised a big cash incentive if it wins the title.
Sanjay Gupta, Chairman, APL Apollo, which owns the franchise, has announced $200,000 as a cash incentive for his team if it clinches the GCL title, team captain and manager, FIDE Senior Trainer and International Master Vishal Sareen said.
The GCL is being held in Dubai.
With five-time World Champion Magnus Carlsen, who is World No.1 for the last 12 years, as their icon player, and boasts a massive talent pool of three young Grandmasters (GM) — D Gukesh, Arjun Erigaisi and R. Praggnanandhaa, the SG Alpine Warriors are one of the formidable teams in the GCL.
GMs Irina Krush and Elisabeth Paehtz complete the six-member lineup of players.
The incentive announcement was made during a charity match wherein the team players played some games against Gupta, an avid Chess aficionado himself.
Gupta, who played as many as three games against Carlsen, said it was an honour to play the former World Champion, right at the start of the mini-series as well as 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 and 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 into the league of NBA, NFL and IPL,” said Gupta in the statement.
Continuing further Gupta said: “We got the franchise barely 24 hours before the actual auction; it was a serious effort on the 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.”
“While we want to win it, I am really happy that the SG Sports family is growing and we are super proud of it,” he added.
The GCL was inaugurated on Wednesday evening in a glittering ceremony attended by all teams and Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra. Legendary Cricketer Steve Waugh and tennis icon Sania Mirza graced the occasion.
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.
For SG Alpine Warriors, the strategic consultant is Game Changers, a sports management company based out of Mumbai.
“I as the Captain, the players and the entire team are in sync, we just need to peak at the right time,” said Sareen.
SG Alpine Warriors will play their first match on Friday afternoon.
“The board order for the first match will be: Carlsen, Gukesh, Erigaisi, Krush, Paehtz and Praggnanandhaa,” Sareen told IANS.