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Pro Chess League 2023: All 16 Teams And The Players To Watch Out For

Pro Chess League 2023: All 16 Teams And The Players To Watch Out For

NathanielGreen
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The Main Event of the Pro Chess League begins on February 14. Sixteen teams will vie for a championship worth $25,000 for first place and $150,000 overall.

Each team has six to ten players on the roster. Four will play each week, including at least one woman. For competitive balance, there is a rating cap (a 2550 average) in each match that cannot be exceeded. Teams must plan around the cap and carefully consider potential matchups in order to maximize their chances of winning each week.

How to watch?
You can watch the Pro Chess League on Chess.com/TV. You can also watch the show on our Twitch channel and catch all our live broadcasts on YouTube.com/ChesscomLive. Games from the event can be viewed on our events page.

Live broadcasts will take place weekly Tuesday through Thursdays starting at 7:30 a.m. PT and 16:30 CET.

So, who's playing? Let's go ahead and meet the teams, players, captains, and managers.

Team Listing (click to jump to your favorite!): Gotham Knights | Canada ChessBrahs | Saint Louis Arch Bishops | Levitov Chess Wizards | Indian Yogis | Team MGD1 | Blitz | Charlotte Cobras | Shanghai Tigers | Garden State Passers | California Unicorns | Croatia Bulldogs | Brazil Capybaras | Norway Gnomes | Berlin Bears | Spanish Maniac Shrimps


Gotham Knights

Gotham Knights Pro Chess League PCL

Instead of the New York Marshalls, this year features the Gotham Knights, captained by (you may have guessed from the name) IM Levy Rozman. He's taking a back seat in the actual games, leaving it to GM Hikaru Nakamura to lead one of the favorites to win it all. Two other super-GMs, Liem Quang Le and Vladimir Fedoseev, are also on the squad. The Knights brought in ascendant IM Nurgyul Salimova as one of two women on their roster as well. It's going to be a tough team to beat on all four boards whoever plays each week.

KNIGHTS ROSTER
GM Hikaru Nakamura
GM Quang Liem Le
GM Vladimir Fedoseev
GM Shamsiddin Vokhidov
IM Mykola Bortnyk
IM Andy Woodward
IM Nataliya Buksa
IM Nurgyul Salimova

Canada ChessBrahs

The ChessBrahs were able to poach the biggest name in chess, GM Magnus Carlsen, for their attempt at a first-ever PCL championship. The only 2800 FIDE-rated player in the world, Carlsen only counts for 2700 against the rating cap, as does every player over 2700.

GM Anish Giri is, to put it mildly, not a bad #2 option. But this team is stacked with many great options: GM Eric Hansen, of course, as well as GMs Jorden van Foreest and Aryan Tari. FM Jennifer Yu, the two-time U.S. women's champion including 2022, will be the women's lead.

GM Aman Hambleton is not on the playing roster but will fill the role of team captain.

CHESSBRAHS ROSTER
GM Magnus Carlsen
GM Anish Giri
GM Jorden Van Foreest
GM Ivan Saric
GM Aryan Tari
GM Eric Hansen
GM Razvan Preotu
IM Shawn Rodrigue-Lemieux
WGM Jennifer Yu
WGM Maili-Jade Ouellet

Saint Louis Arch Bishops

Saint Louis Arch Bishops Pro Chess League PCL

What can you say about the Arch Bishops, three-time PCL champions? Doesn't this PCL lineup look like the clear favorite?

The SLAB's top player is once again GM Fabiano Caruana, with GMs Leinier Dominguez and Jeffery Xiong also on the roster. WGM Rochelle Wu and WIM Alice Lee can make an impact as well.

ARCH BISHOPS ROSTER
GM Fabiano Caruana
GM Leinier Dominguez
GM Jeffery Xiong
GM Benjamin Bok
GM Nikolas Theodorou
GM Varuzhan Akobian
WGM Rochelle Wu
WIM Alice Lee
NM Julian Proleiko
WFM Sophie Morris-Suzuki

Levitov Chess Wizards

Levitov Chess Wizards Pro Chess League PCL

Despite all the strength above, it is the Wizards who have the highest average rating in the field, at 2606. This includes two of the best women in the world, GMs Alexandra Kosteniuk and Valentina Gunina. With near-2500 ratings that still only count as 2350 towards the rating limit, the other two boards can be occupied by their 2700 players, GMs Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Daniil Dubov, should they so choose.

WIZARDS ROSTER
GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
GM Daniil Dubov
GM Alexey Sarana
GM Rauf Mamedov
GM David Paravyan
GM Aleksandr Shimanov
GM Denis Lazavik
GM Alexandra Kosteniuk
GM Valentina Gunina

Charlotte Cobras

Charlotte Cobras Pro Chess League PCL 2023

GM Daniel Naroditsky will captain and star for one of six U.S.-based teams in this year's PCL, the most of any country. But with GMs Grigoriy Oparin, Awonder Liang, and eight-time U.S. women's champion Irina Krush also on board, he's not alone.

COBRAS ROSTER
GM Grigoriy Oparin
GM Awonder Liang
GM Daniel Naroditsky
GM Brandon Jacobson
GM Elshan Moradiabadi
GM Irina Krush
IM Nazi Paikidze
FM Gabriela Antova

Indian Yogis

India Yogis Pro Chess League PCL 2023

There are actually two India-based teams in this year's PCL, which could make for a great rivalry depending on how the schedule shakes out. The Yogis have GM Nihal Sarin, siblings GM Praggnanandhaa and WGM Vaishali R, and will feature GM Vidit Gujrathi as well. 

YOGIS ROSTER
GM Vidit Gujrathi
GM Praggnanandhaa R
GM Nihal Sarin
GM Raunak Sadhwani
GM Chithambaram VR. Aravindh
GM Abdulla Gadimbayli
IM Aronyak Ghosh
IM Elisabeth Paehtz
WGM Vaishali R
IM Pranesh M

Team MGD1

MGD1 Pro Chess League PCL 2023

MGD1, the Indian chess agency, also has an exciting team. They have India's highest-rated under-20 player in the PCL field, GM Arjun Erigaisi, as well as GM Harika Dronavalli, the country's highest-rated woman playing in the PCL (one of two Indian women rated above 2500, along with GM Humpy Koneru, who is not playing in the PCL).

MGD1 ROSTER
GM Arjun Erigaisi
GM Narayanan S.L.
GM Amin Tabatabaei
GM B Adhiban
GM Diptayan Ghosh
GM Dronavalli Harika
GM Guha Mitrabha
IM Aditya Mittal
WFM Savitha Shri B

Blitz

Blitz Pro Chess League PCL 2023

FM Kevin Bordi, who runs the mega-popular Blitzstream, is filling the roles of both captain and manager for the simply named Blitz. He's on the playing roster, too, but GMs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Etienne Bacrot, and even Alexander Grischuk will also help carry the French team.

BLITZ ROSTER
GM Alexander Grischuk
GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
GM Etienne Bacrot
GM Matthieu Cornette
GM Maxime Lagarde
GM Kateryna Lagno
FM Mahel Boyer
Alexandre Bacrot
IM Deimante Daulyte-Cornette

Shanghai Tigers

Shanghai Tigers Pro Chess League PCL 2023

Women's world champion GM Ju Wenjun is just one of many stars on the Shanghai team, with super-GM Wei Yi as their highest-rated player. GM Ni Hua is the captain and manager, as well as the #2 player on the team after Wei Yi.

TIGERS ROSTER
GM Wei Yi
GM Ni Hua
GM Zhang Zhong
GM Ju Wenjun
GM Xu Yi
IM Lou Yiping
Renjie Huang
WGM Ni Shiqun
Mao Yingzhou

Garden State Passers

Garden State Passers Pro Chess League PCL 2023

Captain FM James Canty III is also playing for a team that includes CGC quarterfinalist GM Sam Sevian, the youngest GM ever Abhimanyu Mishra, and two rising women stars, IM Carissa Yip and WIM Meruert Kamalidenova. It should be a fun team to watch.

PASSERS ROSTER
GM Samuel Sevian
GM Gadir Guseinov
GM Aleksandr Lenderman
GM Abhimanyu Mishra
GM Bela Khotenashvili
IM Carissa Yip
WIM Meruert Kamalidenova
WIM Trisha Kanyamarala
FM James Canty

California Unicorns

California Unicorns Pro Chess League PCL 2023

The Unicorns are being managed by ChessDojo operators IMs Kostya Kavutskiy and David Pruess and feature three super grandmasters, GMs Gukesh D, Sam Shankland, Ray Robson, as well as GM Christopher Yoo and WGM Sabina Foisor

UNICORNS ROSTER
GM Gukesh D
GM Sam Shankland
GM Ray Robson
GM Illya Nyzhnyk
GM Dariusz Swiercz
GM Georg Meier
GM Christopher Woojin Yoo
GM Andrew Hong
WGM Sabina-Francesca Foisor
NM Zoey Tang

Croatia Bulldogs

Croatia Bulldogs Pro Chess League PCL 2023

Star YouTuber Agadmator (Antonio Radic) is the Bulldogs team captain. Although he won't be playing in the games, his team does have GM Bogdan-Daniel Deac leading the way on the chessboard. GM Leon Livaic and IM Polina Shuvalova will also play a key role in Team Croatia's fate.

BULLDOGS ROSTER
GM Bogdan-Daniel Deac
GM Leon Livaic
GM Sasa Martinovic
GM Ante Saric
IM Bardiya Daneshvar
IM Polina Shuvalova
IM Eline Roebers

Brazil Capybaras

PCL 2023 Brazil Capybaras

The Capybaras are back, managed and captained by GM Krikor Mekhitarian. To build their roster, Brazil went outside the box (the border), picking up GMs Jose Martinez and Sandro Mareco, but GMs Luis Paulo Supi and four-time Brazilian champ Alexandr Fier are also on board. Romanian WGM Irina Bulmaga is the top woman on their roster.

CAPYBARAS ROSTER
GM Vladislav Artemiev
GM Sandro Mareco
GM Luis Paulo Supi
GM Jose Martinez
GM Alexandr Fier
GM Krikor Mekhitarian
WGM Irina Bulmaga
FM Nathan Felipe Filgueiras
FM Julia Alboredo

Norway Gnomes

Norway Gnomes Pro Chess League PCL 2023

The Gnomes, run by GM Jon Ludvig Hammer and IM Anna Rudolf, weren't able to secure the services of Carlsen or Tari, but they do have GMs Salem AR Saleh, David Howell, and Gawain Jones.

GNOMES ROSTER
GM A.R. Saleh Salem
GM David Howell
GM Gawain Jones
GM Pranav V
IM Elham Abdrlauf
GM Sankalp Gupta
GM Nino Batsiashvili
WGM Laura Unuk

Berlin Bears

Berlin Bears Pro Chess League PCL 2023

In addition to the Svane brothers, GMs Rasmus and Frederik, WGM Sarah Papp and GM Dmitrij Kollars, the Bears secured Ukrainian star GM Anton Korobov as their highest-rated player.

BEARS ROSTER
GM Anton Korobov
GM Rasmus Svane
GM Dmitrij Kollars
GM Niclas Huschenbeth
GM Arik Braun
GM Frederik Svane
WGM Josefine Heinemann
WGM Sarah Papp

Spanish Maniac Shrimps

Spanish Maniac Shrimps Pro Chess League PCL 2023

Yes, you read that name right. The Maniac Shrimps won the qualifier to become the 16th and final team in the 2023 Pro Chess League. Don't let their name fool you—if their performance in the qualifier is any indication, it would be a mistake to overlook their chances in the main event. 

MANIAC SHRIMPS ROSTER
GM Jaime Santos Latasa
GM Alan Pichot
GM Eduardo Iturrizaga
GM Miguel Santos
GM Jose Ibarra
GM Jose Cuenca
IM Karina Ambartsumova
GM Lance Henderson de La Fuente
IM Sabrina Vega Gutierrez
WFM Candela Belen Francisco Guecamburu

Conclusion

The first full season of PCL in nearly three years promises to be a wild ride, especially with teams and players like these. You will not want to miss a second of the action.

Who do you think will win the PCL in 2023, Saint Louis? Gotham? The Levitov Wizards? And what team or teams are you rooting for? Let us know in the comments!

NathanielGreen
Nathaniel Green

Nathaniel Green is a staff writer for Chess.com who writes articles, player biographies, Titled Tuesday reports, video scripts, and more. He has been playing chess for about 30 years and resides near Washington, DC, USA.

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