In an epic battle between master and student, Samay Raina lost to Sagar Shah during a subscribers-only chess stream yesterday. But Shah breaking Raina’s winning streak wasn’t actually the biggest headline from the stream. The big-ticket event was the duo’s announcement of the Chess Super League.
“Dream Come True ❤️ Nodwin, Chessbaseindia and I are organising India’s first ever online chess league. It will feature top grandmasters and international masters from India and abroad with celebrity team owners! Dates: October 11-17, mark your calendars! Something epic is coming your way!!” Samay Raina declared on Instagram yesterday.
The Chess Super League—a project that Raina and Shah have been working on for the better part of a year—will see some of the top chess talents in the world battle it out in a league format. The first season of the tournament, in association with Nodwin Gaming and ChessBase India, will stream live on Raina’s YouTube channel from 11 to 17 October between 8 to 11 pm. The winners of the tournament will take home a cash prize of Rs 40 lakh.
The CSL’s first season will see a number of popular international chess players take part, including three-time Women’s World Champion Hou Yifan, American prodigy Hikaru Nakamura, Anish Giri, Teimour Radjabov, Ding Liren and many more. They will be joined by Indian chess stars Vidit Gujrathi, Tania Sachdev, Dronavalli Harika and Koneru Humpy, and rising talents Gukesh, Savitha Shri and Raunak Sadhwani.
The players will be divided into six teams, “represented” by stars including Tanmay Bhat, Zakir Khan, Biswa Kalyan Rath, Raftaar and PUBG star Mortal.
“I have enjoyed streaming chess with Sagar and have been incredibly lucky to have some of the best players in the world play chess on my channel and the best fans in the world watching us have fun week after week. The logical next step is to launch a league that will feature some of the best talents from India and around the world and I can’t be happier than to be able to do it now,” Samay Raina said in an interview with TechnoSports.
“Samay and I started streaming back in May 2020. We did so many streams of Improving Chess and then Biswa joined in and Vaibhav joined. Vidit was there, Adhiban was there. This entire thing has culminated into the first Chess Super League. We are very glad that this has taken place,” Sagar Shah said in a video that was uploaded on ChessBase India’s YouTube channel this morning.