Global Chess League will fill gap in current ecosystem: Koneru Humpy

05:03 PM May 29, 2023 | PTI |

New Delhi: The inaugural Global Chess League has the potential to fill the existing gap in the sport’s global ”ecosystem”, former World Rapid Chess champion Koneru Humpy said on Monday.


A joint venture between Tech Mahindra and the international chess federation (FIDE), GCL will witness six teams competing in a minimum of 10 matches each in a double round-robin, rapid format from June 21-July 2 in Dubai.

Humpy, who at 15 years and one month had become the youngest female chess player to become a Grandmaster in 2002, felt the league format — where each team will have a mix of men, women and junior players — would generate a lot of interest.

”It’s quite an interesting one to have a league with mixed teams of men, women and junior players. It’s good for the global chess ecosystem,” the two-time Asian Games gold medallist said in a press release.

”This league will be an inspiration for organisers all over the world,” said Humpy, the Arjuna Award and Padma Shri recipient.


”Chess is changing now, and the organisers are trying to make it more spectacular to attract more audience,” the 35-year-old said. We also enjoy shorter time formats in a fun way, which will be more entertaining for the audience.” Humpy, who will also be competing in the GCL, futher said the sport was on the upswing in the country with a surfeit of GMs.

”I started when I was six years old. As a player, I can testify that chess is constantly being evolved in India. ”We have plenty of Grandmasters now from the country and we are the fastest-growing country in chess at the time,” said the Andhra star, who has a current world ranking of 204 and a Classical Elo rating of 2586.

Humpy was disappointed with few women taking up the sport in India compared to their male counterparts.

”The growth of women’s chess players in India is quite low as compared to men’s growth. There are a lot of youngsters in men’s circuit, but there are quite a few in women’s chess.

For the population and talent we have, the number is quite less and we can improve upon that,” she said.

Mother of a five-year-old, Humpy further said there is a lot of scope for women to continue pursuing chess after attaining motherhood.

”There are a lot of mothers who are being successful in their sporting careers now. I am proud to see that I have been able to manage both,” she added.


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