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The launch of Academy Chess League

by Sagar Shah - 19/05/2018

ChessBase India launches its all new initiative - Academy Chess League. An online playing league where academies/schools from different parts of India and the world fight it out against each other in a serious long game of chess (45 min+10 sec). The main aim of the league is to provide a platform for players to fight for the honour of their academy/school and at the same time improve as chess players! It is for the first time that such an initiative has been taken in the world of chess. ChessBase India invites all the academies/schools in India and the world to take part in this unique concept and ensure that their students become stronger chess players.  

As a chess player I consider my biggest improvement took place when I joined the Ghatkopar Chess Academy (GCA) when I was eleven years old. The place was just ten minutes away from my home. Three days a week I would go there and play against all the other players that came to the academy. There was hardly any coaching, the main point was just to play and improve! After a year or so, I still enjoyed to go to the academy, but seeing the same faces was not highly refreshing. At the same time my opponents would never really change their openings! So, if I had to play with the black pieces against Amogh Kamli I knew that he would play the Dragon. If it was Ketan Patil, it was going to be the French. The newness and enthusiasm was lost. I craved for new opponents, but to get new players at my level was not easy.


There are thousands of academies all over India and the students and trainers who face the same problem mentioned above - how to get new players for game play against the talented players of the academy. We, at ChessBase India have decided to find a solution to this issue by launching the Academy Chess League (ACL) - an online platform where two academies can fight it out against each other. In order to test our idea we held the exhibition online match between Dibyendu Barua Chess Academy (DBCA) and Kunte's Chess Academy (KCA) on Playchess.

DBCA started by Dibyendu Barua and his wife Saheli Dhar Barua and Kunte's Chess Academy founded by siblings Abhijit and Mrunalini were pitted against each other

As it was an exhibition match we kept the format as 16 players from DBCA would take on 16 players from KCA. These 16 players were broken up into four rating categories - unrated, 1000-1400, 1400-1800 and 1800-2200. This is how the pairing looked:

Dibyendu Barua Chess Academy (DBCA) vs Kunte's Chess Academy (KCA)

Name of the playersPlaychess idFIDE RatingName of the playersPlaychess idFIDE Rating
1800-2200  1800-2200  
Arpita Mukherjeechessdreamer20012151Aditya Samantadityass2167
Souhardo Basaksouhardo1831Pruthu DeshpandeGR8KNIGHT20012072
Sumit Kumarthemariners2183Himanshu Chhabrachhabrachess1797
Sayan Bosebosesayan281978Rohan Joshirbj771786
1400-1800  1400-1800  
Sanchit Mukherjeesanchit1444Arnav NanalATTACK_MASTER1357
Shounak Mazumderriju1231688Akshay Borgaonkarchess20091456
Dhritabrata Kundubabua1231510Atharva GavadeAtharvGavade231536
Aniruddh Chatterjeeomaniruddh1525Sankalp Kukrejaskukreja21463
1000-1400  1000-1400  
Sneha Haldersneha1231177Vihaan Dawdavihaandawda1093
Srijak Senguptasansengu1090Shreyas Purkarshreyasp1223
Sambuddha Roy Chowdhurysambuddha1106Aditya PrabhuASP_20071285
Antik Kumarantik20181076Dhruv HaldankarHaldankardhruv1224
Unrated  Unrated  
Arihant JainArihantJain_2004 Anay UplenchwarDIEGOANAY 
Satadru Ashsatadru30082009 Arjun RajeArjun raje 
Sohom Konersoham04112006 Arnav Kopardearnavkop 
Harshit Bahetybahety Nikhil ChitaleNikhilchitale 

The match went right down to the wire and the final score was 8-8:

Final standings:

1800 - 220013
1400 - 180031
Final score88

DBCA students had all gathered in the academy with their laptops!

For KCA a few of the students came to the academy and most of them played from home!

This is how the games are played on Playchess!

After the match ended we spoke to both Dibyendu Barua + Saheli Dhar Barua and Abhijit Kunte. As coaches and trainers, they were thrilled with this concept. Apart from the thrill of winning and losing, they also had the games of the players which they could analyze and try to find out the errors and mistakes. A strong player like Arpita Mukherjee from DBCA who is rated 2151 suddenly was able to match her wits against another young talent Aditya Samant (rated 2167) from Pune. An unrated player who had just begun his chess career was suddenly fighting for the pride of his academy. It was great excitement! You can read about this thrilling encounter in more detail here.

The launch of Academy Chess League

This initiative and concept launched by ChessBase India is highly novel and at the same time the aim is very simple - high quality playing practice for students of each academy. At the same time, you have the chance to prove yourself as the best chess academy in India!

Super league:

The Super League will be launched in the month of June. There are four rating sections (mentioned below) and each section will have 16 academies. The 16 academies in each section will fight to become the Academy Chess League Champions in their section! So at the end of the first Super League which will last for around two months we will have four different champions in four different rating categories.

Rating categories:

An academy has to enlist its team with four members in any of the following rating category.

There will be four rating categories:

1. Unrated

2. 1000 - 1400

3. 1400 - 1800

4. 1800 - 2200 (one player above 2200 if required will be allowed)

* There will be a grace of 25 Elo points. For example a player whose rating is 1376 can play in the 1400 to 1800 category. At the same time if a player is rated 1820 he can play either in 1400 to 1800 or 1800 to 2200.

** The FIDE rating on the first of the month is what will be taken into consideration. Assuming that you have a game on 2nd of July, the ratings as on 1st of July will be considered.


As an academy you need not have players in all sections. You can decide that I would like my students to take part in the 1000-1400 section. You need minimum four and maximum can be any number. 24 hours prior to the match you will have to decide on the four players that will play from your side.


The 16 teams in one rating section will be further segregated into four random groups - Group A, B, C, D. Suppose your team is in Group A. You will play three matches against the other three academies in your group. If you become the leader of your group at the end of the match, you will play the semi-finals and then the finals. More details about the rules will be published soon.

Time control:

The time control of the event is 45 minutes + 10 seconds increment. We deliberately kept the time control for a long serious game, because we want the players to indulge in a game of chess that is closest to the classical time control and improve.

Entry fee:

There is absolutely no entry fee if you are a ChessBase Premium Account member. The ChessBase Premium Account membership is the only entry fee. The ChessBase Premium Account membership is one of the most powerful online memberships to improve your game at chess giving you access to multiple features like playing online, watching thousands of chess videos, 50,000+ tactical chess positions, access to live database and much more. The cost of the membership is just Rs. 1499/- per year or Rs.499 for three months.


No player will be allowed to play in the Academy Chess League if he is not a ChessBase Premium Account member.


The first Super League will take place in the month of June. The games will be announced well in advance and on an average a team would play 3-4 matches in a month.


This event is mainly aimed to provide high class playing practice to students of academies. The main motivation is to improve as a chess player and not the prizes. But we will ensure that the winning team gets not only the winner's trophy but also attractive prizes! There will also be board prizes.

Open to all academies of the world:

Although the ACL is primarily aimed at Indian academies at the start, we would be happy to have International Academies.

Benefits of taking part in ACL:

1. High quality practice games for players in their rating categories

2. Ready games for coaches of the academy to analyze the mistakes of their students

3. Playing against opponents all over the India and the world

4. Get to play from the comfort of your home or academy. No travelling.

5. No entry fee! The ChessBase Premium Account can anyway be used to become a stronger player with all its features.

6. Attractive prizes to the winners.

7. Exposure to the academy with regular reports about the matches on ChessBase India


All those academies who are interested to take part in the ACL, please fill the form below. We will get back to you:

The last date to submit the form is 31st of May 2018. But in case we have 16 teams already in the rating section, then your entry will not be accepted. So hurry up!

* Accepting or declining the entries of any team is at the discretion of ChessBase India.


The entry fee to play in the Academy Chess League is just the ChessBase Premium Account. You get to play games against players all over India and the world. Your academy gets exposure and becomes popular in the process. This is one of those initiatives where you have everything to gain and nothing to lose. We have many ideas which we will be implementing once the first season gets rolling. So don't miss out on this opportunity. Join us in this mission of Powering Chess in India!

The entire Academy Chess League (ACL) will take place on ChessBase's online playing platform - Playchess!

Academy Chess League is organized and powered by ChessBase India

In case of any queries, write to us at or contact us on 09038139510


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