Taking a leaf out of sports like cricket and badminton, the All India Chess Federation on Tuesday announced that the sport will have its very own franchise-based league to be held next year in June.
The Indian Chess League will be a six-team event and will feature two Super GMs, two Indian GMs, two Women GMs, one Indian Junior Boy and one Indian Junior Girl in each franchise, the AICF said.
The first of its kind franchise model event will take place over two weeks in the double round-robin format in one or two Indian cities. The top two teams will clash in the finals.
"Our dream is coming true," Dr Sanjay Kapoor, president of AICF said at a press conference here.
"The Indian Chess League is going to change the face of chess in the country. It will help us attain our goal of becoming World No. 1 in the near future," he added.
AICF secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan explained that each team will consist of eight players.
"The idea is to not only draw the best players from around the world but also to provide India's players a formidable platform to sharpen their skills," he said.
The AICF has roped in Gameplan Sports Private Limited as the official rights holder to hold, organise, promote and market the Indian Chess League.
"The matches will be telecast live to draw more and more players to chess," Bharat Singh said.
"We will announce the criteria for becoming a franchise owner shortly. We have already received a good response from corporates," he revealed.
The AICF recently announced its calendar for 2022, with as many as 13 international tournaments lined up.
The prize money in the national championships, too, has been hiked, with MPL coming on board as the main sponsor.