The term Chess Bundesliga
), normally refers to the premier league of team chess
in Germany. It is arguably the strongest and longest running league of its kind, attracting many top grandmasters from Europe and beyond.
Austria also has a Bundesliga for chess, usually described as the Bundesliga OST (OST=Osterreich
), but for the purposes of this article, reference is made only to the German league.
16 teams are made up of squads of up to 16 players, from which the manager selects a match-day team of eight, depending on rating, form and of course, availability. Team members may be male or female, but there is also a separate Bundesliga for women's chess.
The season starts in October and ends in April. Venues for matches alternate between the participating clubs to minimise or equalise travel commitments for players. Many of the titled professionals are paid an appearance fee and/or travel expenses.
Each playing weekend normally comprises two matches for each team, played on consecutive days. Hence, four venues play host to two matches on each of the two days. Over the course of the season there are 15 rounds, in order that all teams play each other once.
Prior to the commencement of the season, reigning champions OSC Baden-Baden
started as runaway favourites - their impressive squad was topped by 8 players averaging a hefty Elo rating
The 8 players in question were: Viswanathan Anand
, Peter Svidler
, Alexei Shirov