MCL 2016: Let the games begin!
The fourth edition of the Maharashtra Chess League (MCL), the only professional league of India, is being held from June 11 -15, 2016 at the PYC Hindu Gymkhana, Pune. The six-team event with six players a side will be a rapid tournament (25mins + 10 sec increment) where the teams initially play a round-robin followed by a knockout between four teams to decide the winners. Vibrant, unsaturated and youthful, Pune is the future of Maharashtra, and the chess circle here is already booming. An illustrated introduction to the MCL 2016.
MCL 2016: Let the games begin!
As the taxi entered the city of Pune, I could not help but notice the sheer number of property developers who have set shop in this bustling young city. Young, because it is still developing and far from reaching its zenith, and also the number of youngsters per square kilometer is noticeably high. Pune is also known as an IT city, due to the up and coming IT companies. Vibrant, unsaturated and youthful, Pune is the future of Maharashtra.
After a tiring four-hour taxi ride from Mumbai, I reached the PYC Hindu Gymkhana, the host and the venue of the Maharashtra Chess League 2016, at approximately 19:30. The playing arena was situated on the ground floor. The preparations were in full swing inside.
GM Abhijit Kunte, the de-facto man behind the League's beautiful concept, was overseeing the preparatory work being conducted. I walked up to him, tired, and was lamenting how I should come in the morning to take the pictures after the boards and the arena is ready when he playfully quipped 'When was the last time chess players saw such a unique playing hall? You are a reporter, you should show the people how it looks like before it is ready to take off!'
Convinced, I set about capturing the following impressions:
Each team is in contention to win the 'Best Dugout Prize' and this places a significant emphasis on the design of the hoardings.
|10th June||4:00 PM||Press Conference|
|5:30 PM||Team Owners, Team Managers & Organizers meeting|
|11th June||3:30 PM||Round 1|
|6:00 PM||Round 2|
|12th June||5:00 PM||Felicitation of players and presidential speech|
|6:00 PM||Round 3|
|13th June||3:30 PM||Round 4|
|6:00 PM||Round 5|
|14th June||3:30 PM||Qualifier 1 & Eliminator|
|6:00 PM||Qualifier 2|
|15th June||5:00 PM||Finals|
|6:30 PM||Prize Distribution|
You can read the detailed introduction to the teams and the players in the team in this report by V. Saravanan.
It must be noted that every team must field at least three players from Maharashtra in each round, including two women players, is compulsory. There are no general board orders for teams during the event! This means that players with equal strengths will rarely play each other in every round.
The fourth edition of the Maharashtra Chess League (MCL), the only professional league of India, is being held from June 11 -15, 2016 at the PYC Hindu Gymkhana, Pune. The six-team event with six players a side will be a rapid tournament (25mins + 10 sec increment) where the teams initially play a round-robin followed by a knockout between four teams to decide the winners.
The title sponsor of the event is the Persistent Systems, a technology services company with a revenue of US $ 308 Million in 2014-15, and supported by de Asra Foundation, an entrepreneurship consultancy company, with the support of Amanora Knowledge Foundation, Pune, and IIFL Private Wealth Management. The tournament also has the Bank of Maharashtra and Indian Oil as Associate Sponsors.
ChessBase India will be covering the event extensively with daily reports and updates.
Photos: Chess Illustrated