PRO Chess League Takes Off Wednesday

PRO Chess League Takes Off Wednesday

PeterDoggers
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It's finally here.

More than 400 players (100+ grandmasters), chess fans all over the world, and the whole team at Chess.com are very excited that the inaugural season of the PRO Chess League will launch this Wednesday. 

The PRO Chess League pits cities and regions around the globe against one another in fast-paced online play.

With 48 teams from five continents and top players such as World Champion Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So, Hikaru Nakamura and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, the PRO Chess League promises to be a spectacular and revolutionary event.

World #1 and #2 Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana are among the grandmasters who have signed up for the PRO Chess League.

The format of the league, which is an international successor to the U.S. Chess League, is four-vs-four team matches. Each player on a team plays each player on the other team, so a top GM will not only be playing other top GMs, but also lower-rated players. In chess, we call this the Scheveningen system, which is nearly 100 years old, but this is truly a modern event.

The time control is rapid time: 15 minutes for the game, plus two seconds increment per move. 

The 48 teams hail from five continents, broken down as follows: 20 teams from the United States, 16 European teams, four Indian teams, three African teams, two Canadian teams, two South American teams and two Asian teams.

Here's an overview with all teams and their individual members.

Miami Champions (Atlantic Division)

Title Player Elo Status
GM Hikaru Nakamura 2789 Local
GM Leinier Dominguez Perez 2720 Local
GM Baadur Jobava 2665 Free Agent
GM Bassem Amin 2661 Free Agent
GM Edwardo Bonelli Iturrizaga 2651 Free Agent
GM Yunisky Quesada 2636 Local
GM Sergey Volkov 2609 Free Agent
GM Aryam Abreu 2456 Local
FM Marcel Martinez 2427 Local
IM Blas Lugo 2399 Local
IM Nazi Paikidze 2366 Free Agent
Nikhil Kumar 2076 Local

The Miami Champions should be considered one of the favorites, don't you think? (A quick stat: At least seven of their players have won their country's national championship!)

PRO Chess League Format

The teams are grouped into four divisions based on geography and time-zone convenience.

Here's a page with the four divisions and their teams.

The first matches will be played this Wednesday, January 11. Most competitions are on Wednesdays (league night) with a few inter-league matches happening on Saturdays.

This regular season runs for seven weeks. Times are U.S. Pacific Time (GMT-8):

Central Division

Code City Name

WK 1

1/11

WK 2

1/18

WK 3

1/25

WK 4

2/1

WK 5

2/11

WK 6

2/15

BEL Belgrade Sparrows

ODI

8:30a

BUD

8:40a

JOH

8:40a

MUM

8:00a

POR

11:25a

LJU

8:45a

BUD Budapest Gambit

MUM

8:20a

BEL

8:40a

STO

8:45a

LONL

11:30a

SJ

11:00a

SHY

8:10a

DEH Delhi Dynamite

LJU

8:10a

MUM

7:30a

AMA

7:30a

SHY

7:30a

NY

7:10a

STO

8:30a

GOR Gorky Stormbringers

JOH

8:35a

SHY

7:40a

RIG

8:30a

STO

8:45a

PHI

7:30a

ODI

8:00a

JOH Johannesburg Koeksisters

GOR

8:35a

STO

8:45a

BEL

8:40a

LJU

8:40a

SF

11:20a

AMA

8:20a

LJU Ljubljana Direwolves

DEH

8:10a

RIG

8:45a

ODI

8:00a

JOH

8:40a

WEB

11:05a

BEL

8:45a

MUM Mumbai Movers

BUD

8:20a

DEH

7:30a

SHY

7:35a

BEL

8:00a

MCL

7:05a

RIG

8:25a

ODI Odisha Express

BEL

8:30a

AMA

7:35a

LJU

8:00a

AMS

8:10a

MIN

7:15a

GOR

8:00a

RIG Riga Magicians

STO

8:45a

LJU

8:45a

GOR

8:30a

AMA

7:45a

DAL

7:50a

MUM

8:25a

SHY Shymkent Nomads

AMA

8:00a

GOR

7:40a

MUM

7:35a

DEH

7:30a

PAT

7:00a

BUD

8:10a

NOR Norway Gnomes

RIG

8:45a

JOH

8:45a

BUD

8:45a

GOR

8:45a

MON

7:40a

DEH

8:30a

AMA Amaravati Yodhas

SHY

8:00a

ODI

7:35a

DEH

7:30a

RIGA

7:45a

CAR

7:20a

JOH

8:20a

The schedule for one of the four divisions. Here's the playing schedule for all teams.

Half of the teams qualify for the playoffs, which are single-elimination contests until we reach the championship weekend on March 25-26, and will include the final four teams.

Following the regulations, all 48 teams that have entered this first season each week have to put up a four-player team with an average rating under 2500 FIDE, with at least three of their four team members based locally.

A fourth team member could be from anywhere in the world. 

Prize

There is a total prize fund of U.S. $50,000.

$30,000 will be dedicated to the final ($20,000 for the winner, $10,000 for the runner-up). Third and fourth places will also receive prize money and $10,000 will be dedicated to weekly cash prizes, including:

  • Best game
  • Best use of blog
  • Best team promotion (via social media)
  • and more!

Commentary

Obviously all games will be played on the Chess.com live chess server, but you'll also be able to follow the competition every Wednesday all day with commentary on Chess.com/TV.

Every Wednesday, January-March, we will have games running from around 8 a.m. Pacific all the way until the evening.

Commentators include GM Simon Williams, IM Anna Rudolf, GM Max Dlugy, IM Lawrence Trent, GM Irina Krush, GM Alex Yermolinsky, IM David Pruess, GM Jesse Kraai, GM Dejan Bojkov and WIM Fiona Steil-Antoni.

This all-star commentary team is ready for the PRO Chess League.

The official hashtag for the PRO Chess League is #prochess, so make sure to use that when joining the conversation!

Round one pairings, Wednesday, January 11

Amaravati Yodhas Shymkent Nomads Buenos Aires Krakens New Jersey Knockouts
Murali Krishna G. - W Timur Balabaev - B Sandro Mareco - W Alex Stripunsky - B
Sai Nirupama Kotepalli - W Zhuban Bigabylov - B Sebastian Iermito - W Joel Benjamin - B
Bommini Mounika Akshaya - B A Kolosovsky - W Ernesto Real de Azua - B Alex Fishbein - W
Harisurya Bharadwaj Gundepudi - B Abdikhadir Yakhiyayev - W Mario Villanueva - B Alexander Katz - W
Ljubljana Direwolves Delhi Dynamite Patagonia Penguins Columbus Cardinals
Luka Lenič - W Abhijeet Gupta - B Andres Aguilar - W Mika Brattain - B
Jure Borišek - W Sahaj Grover - B Daniel Pacheco - W Christopher Shen - B
Matej Sebenik - B Tejas Bakre - W Adrian Randazzo - B Maggie Feng - W
Bostjan Jeran - B Tania Sachdev - W Juan Cruz Arias - B Jason Wang - W
Mumbai Movers Budapest Gambit Atlanta Kings Miami Champions
Abhijeet Kunte - W Oliver Mihok - B Gadir Guseinov - W Leinier Dominguez Perez - B
Shardul Gagare - W Mate Bagi - B Alonso Zapata - W Aryam Abreu - B
Mohammad Nubairshah Shaikh - B Gabor Nagy - W Kazim Gulamali - B Blas Lugo - W
Vikramaditya Kulkarni - B Attila Vertetics - W Carlos Perdomo - B Nikhil Kumar - W
Odisha Express Belgrade Sparrows Carolina Cobras Philadelphia Inventors
Ankit Rajpara - W Branko Tadic - B Peter Giannatos - W Andriy Vovk - B
Swayams Mishra - W Aleksandar Colovic - B Tianqi Wang - W Sergey Erenburg - B
Debashis Das - B Goran Arsovic - W Aaron Balleisen - B Andrei Zaremba - W
Sidhant Mohapatra - B Miroslav Simonovic - W Daniel Cremisi - B Matthew O'Brien - W
Johannesburg Koeksister Gorky Stormbringers Toronto Dragons Montclair Sopranos
Daniel Cawdery - W Evgeny Shaposhnikov - B Bator Sambuev - W Aleksandr Lenderman - B
Matt Pon - W Mikhail Gorozhanin - B Razvan Preotu - W Marc Arnold - B
Cornelis Klaver - B Anton Yatzenko - W Nikolay Noritsyn - B Pascal Charbonneau - W
Francois Oberholzer - B Evgeny Pristalov - W Thomas Roussel-Roozmon - B Dan Smith - W
Riga Magicians Norway Gnomes Montreal Chessbrahs New York Knights
Igor Kovalenko - W Jon Ludvig Hammer - B Li Chao - W Leonid Yudasin - B
Arturs Neiksans - W Aryan Tari - B Alexander Lesiege - W Oliver Barbosa - B
Toms Kantans - B Lars Oskar Hauge - W Aman Hambleton - B Mark Paragua - W
Ritvars Reimanis - B Sebastian Mihajlov - W Lefong Hua - B Jay Bonin - W
London Lions Abuja RockStars San Francisco Mechanics Pittsburgh Pawngrabbers
James Adair - W Kigigha Bomo - B Patrick Wolff - W Alexander Shabalov - B
Yang-Fan Zhou - W Oladapo Adu - B Vinay Bhat - W Alexander Heimann - B
Justin Tan - B Ademola Sorungbe - W Yian Liou - B Gabriel Petesch - W
Ravi Haria - B John Oyeyemi Fawole - W Cameron Wheeler - B Grant Xu - W
Dublin Desperados Lagos Leatherbacks Saint Louis Arch Bishops Dallas Destiny
Sebastien Maze - W Olufemi Balogun - B Wesley So - W Conrad Holt - B
Alex Lopez - W Sung Ho Yim - B Varuzhan Akobian - W Angel Arribas Lopez - B
Stephen Jessel - B Chukwunonso Oragwu - W Ben Finegold - B Zurab Javakhadze - W
Stephen Moran - B Oluwadurotimi Lapite - W Nicholas Rosenthal - B Luke Harmon-Vellotti - W
Apeldoorn Apes Cannes Blockbusters Minnesota Blizzard Portland Rain
Roeland Pruijssers - W Murtas Kazhgaleyev - B Andrew Tang - W Jim Tarjan - B
Robby Kevlishvili - W Fabien Libiszewski - B John Bartholomew - W Nick Raptis - B
Thomas Beerdsen - B Deimante Daulyte - W Sean Nagle - B Benedict A Smail - W
Max Warmerdam - B Flavio Perez - W Frank Johnson - B Jason Cigan - W
Stockholm Snowballs Amsterdam Mosquitoes Las Vegas Desert Rats Rio Grande Ospreys
Georg Meier - W Wouter Spoelman - B Timur Gareyev - W Vladimir Belous - B
Evgenij Agrest - W David Klein - B Kayden Troff - W Carlos Hevia - B
Erik Blomqvist - B Christov Kleijn - W Dan Durham - B Guillermo Vazquez - W
Inna Agrest - B Lennart Dek - W Alex Kretchetov - B Felix Ynojosa - W
Reykjavik Puffins Hamburg Swashbucklers San Jose Hackers Webster Windmills
Jon Viktor Gunnarsson - W Rasmus Svane - B Shakhriyar Mamedyarov - W Ray Robson - B
Bragi Thorfinnsson - W Jonas Lampert - B Daniel Naroditsky - W Priyadarshan Kannappan - B
Bjorn Thorfinnsson - B Dmitry Kollars - W Ioan-Cristian Chirila - B Irine Kharisma Sukandar - W
Ingvar Thor Johannesson - B Georgios Souleidis - W Christopher Woojin Yoo - B Eric Rosen - W
Marseille Migraines London Towers Seattle Sluggers San Diego Surfers
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave - W Gawain Jones - B Giorgi Margvelashvili - W Alexey Dreev - B
Etienne Bacrot - W Keith Arkell - B Viktor Mikhalevski - W Melikset Khachiyan - B
Jean-Marc Degraeve - B Thomas Rendle - W Georgi Orlov - B Michael Brown - W
Rémy Degraeve - B Simon Ansell - W Bryce Tiglon - B Craig Hilby - W

Links

The fundamental goal of the PRO Chess League is promoting the growth and togetherness of the of local community chess clubs. 

By now you probably don't need more reasons to watch, but if you do, IM Greg Shahade, one of the main organizers of the league, has got 10 for you!

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