Pro Chess League (PCL): All set for an exciting season© Getty Images

A new tournament featuring 16 franchises competing for the prestigious PCL prizes (250,000 US dollars) will kick off in February 2024. Prior to that, there will be a qualification round to determine the remaining vacant spots.

The PCL is a world-class rapid chess event, akin to the NFL, NBA, or the English Premier League in the chess world. It stands out from other chess competitions as fans can cheer for their teams, composed of elite players in the global chess scene.

While the last competition showcased the top three current players in the world: Grandmasters Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, and Hikaru Nakamura; this time, even more superior figures and players are expected, ensuring a high level of play.

The reigning champions, Gotham Knights led by IM Levy Rozman, are set to defend their title and have already confirmed four names for their team. Last season, the Knights, captained by Rozman, featured Nakamura and GM Liem Le on their top boards, with GM Vladimir Fedoseev earning the MVP ("Most Valuable Player") title of the season. Nakamura and Liem are back to lead the line, joined by 21-year-old Uzbek GM Shamsiddin Vokhidov and teenage talent WIM Alua Nurmanova, who recently defeated the reigning women's world champion, GM Ju Wenjun.

On the other hand, the world's second-ranked player, Norwegian Sven Magnus Carlsen, played for the Canada ChessBrahs in 2023 and is expected to lead their lineup again in 2024. The ChessBrahs had a strong team last season with GMs Anish Giri, Jorden van Foreest, Ivan Saric, and Aryan Tari in the lineup. The women's team was captained by WGM Jennifer Yu (two-time US women's champion).

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

The three-time PCL champions, the Saint Louis Arch Bishops, also return with GMs Caruana, Leinier Dominguez, and Jeffery Xiong. Fourteen teams are guaranteed to return in 2024 and compete for the record prize of 50,000 dollars.

Although these are the main teams, fourteen out of the 16 teams are confirmed. Two spots are still up for grabs, to be determined through a qualification process taking place over two days starting on January 29, 2024.

The five-week regular season, played weekly, begins on February 13 and runs until March 14. Playoffs continue in March and April. All the action will be broadcast live with commentary on

The Format:

The five-week regular season, played weekly, begins on February 13 and runs until March 14. The Pro Chess League (PCL) consists of the PCL Qualifier, PCL Main Event, Arena Royale, and Playoffs. Teams field lineups of four players and compete in a 4-round match with a time control of 10+2, where players face all members of the opposing team in a race to reach 8.5 points. Teams qualify for the playoffs after winning 3 matches. Teams are eliminated from the Swiss system after losing 3 matches.