NODWIN Gaming, ChessBase India and leading comedian and entertainer Samay Raina organised the first ever Chess Super League in partnership with title sponsor CoinDCX. The week-long online league saw participation from elite men and women grandmasters, international masters and top junior boys and girls, from India and across the world. The league concluded on 17October 2021 by awarding its top teams a whopping prize pool of Rs 40 lacs and garnered a viewership of 10 Million.
In the 30+ hour long league, a total of 120+ rounds of chess were played. Each team was spearheaded by their owners – top professionals in their respective fields – including Tanmay Bhat (The Kingslayers), Biswa Kalyan Rath and Shreyas Shrinivasan (Krazy Knights), S8UL (Ruthless Rooks), Raftaar – Kalaamkaar (Brutal Bishops), Zakir Khan from Pivotal Pawns and Suhani Shah with Saina Nehwal from Quintessential Queens. The Pivotal Pawns (Abhijeet Gupta, Arjun Kalyan, Bhakti Kulkarni, Ding Liren, Savitha Shri, Zhansaya Abdumalik) and The Kingslayers (Anish Giri, Arpita Mukherjee, D Gukesh, Nana Dzagnidze, Soumya Swaminathan, S. P. Sethuraman) engaged viewers in an edge-of-the-seat finale that had the audience on tenterhooks before the Pivotal Pawns emerged winners after a tie-breaking armageddon game.
“The success of the Chess Super League (CSL) — our foray into the world of online chess, has reiterated our belief that various forms of gaming can come under the umbrella of gaming and esports entertainment. Chess is a fantastic game that teaches you strategy, deep thinking, patience and in the CSL format teamwork. It will do our country good if through tournaments like the Chess Super League, we can get more of India’s youth interested in this phenomenal game. Apart from the players themselves, the team owners along with the storytellers and Samay and Sagar did a splendid job in keeping up the fun and the serious element of the league in a great balance. We look forward to season 2 of CSL very soon!” said NODWIN Gaming managing director Akshat Rathee.
ChessBase India CEO and co-founder Sagar Shah added “Powering Chess in India is the vision of ChessBase India. I am glad that with the Chess Super League we were able to do just that. Immense benefit was received to Indian chess players as they got to compete with world class players. The juniors got a chance to interact with top players of the world which gives them new insights into the game. I am overwhelmed with the love and support for the league from all the players, community and audience members. It’s been wonderful working with Samay Raina and NODWIN Gaming and we hope to make this league bigger and better in the years to come.”
Samay Raina added “It’s difficult to believe that after only 18 months of starting to stream chess, I have been able to be a part of something this huge and exciting – with top players playing in our league. The whole league has been an emotional roller-coaster and we can’t wait to be back with the next edition. I want to specially thank the fans who have been incredibly supportive throughout this journey.”
The Chess Super League streamed live on Samay’s Youtube channel with lots of surround content including team anthems, highlights and analysis hosted on the ChessBase India channel and channels of the team owners. Overall, content from the Chess Super League has been watched over 10 million times in just a week.
The League was sponsored by CoinDCX (India’s safest crypto exchange) and supported by Red Bull, Mama Earth, Rage Fan NFT and Exploring Infinities founded by the man who holds the title for being ‘The Fastest Human Calculator’ — Neelakantha Bhanu.
“We are very excited to enter into the world of gaming and esports through our association with NODWIN Gaming. We are seeing increasing associations across the globe in the emerging and exciting areas of cryptocurrency and esports and look forward to several more collaborations where we get to associate ourselves with new experiential games and trends,” said CoinDCX head of brand marketing and communications Ramalingam Subramanian.