The ninth season of the United States Chess League, beginning later this month, will for the first time be hosted solely by Chess.com LLC. Starting with week one matches on August 27 and 28, the only place to see the country's best masters in action will be at Chess.com's Live Chess Server. As there was last year, there will also be top-flight weekly commentary from titled players on Chess.com/tv. Look to the US Chess League website for their complete season schedule, and check out the games on Chess.com every Tuesday and Wednesday evening for the 10 weeks of the regular season play, and three weeks of playoffs.
The exclusive partnership between the USCL and Chess.com replaces the previous viewership at the Internet Chess Club, which the league used since its inception in 2005. The two sites split hosting rights last season before Chess.com acquired the offical rights during this offseason.
"Our relationship with the Internet Chess Club has been wonderful and we are grateful to have spent the first eight years of the league at the ICC, but at this point we feel like Chess.com is the right place to feature the league," USCL Commishioner Greg Shahade said in a statement to league managers and officials this morning.
International Master Greg Shahade, USCL Founder.
"We are very excited about this partnership and Chess.com is fully committed to helping the league grow and putting on the most exciting product for their members," he said.
Shahade added that he expects "significantly more viewers" each week since fans do not need a paid membership to be able to watch the league. Chess.com currently has more than 7 million members. Chess.com also plans to provide weekly recap videos. They will highight the popular "Game of the Week" contest and blanket social media with news from the league.
Week one features all intra-divisional play, with teams trying to start off right in the new four-division format. Tune in to Chess.com/tv Tuesday, August 27 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern as the Carolina Cobras and Miami Sharks play the kickoff match to the 2013 season.