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A Great Gambit

Tech Mahindra recently announced a first-of-its-kind phygital (physical and digital) Global Chess League. The exciting new League plans to leverage new-age technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality.

The aim is to explore innovative ways of promoting the sport through interactive platforms to drive fan engagement and global viewership, truly transforming chess into an e-sport. Tech Mahindra will be the architect behind the concept and will provide necessary operational and technological support to execute the vision.

Resurgence and renaissance

There has been a surge of interest in chess post the online Chess Olympiad and the enormous popularity of TV series, The Queen’s Gambit. “We hope the creation of a league will harness this resurgence of interest and bring about a renaissance in the world of chess,” said Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group.

The League’s launch will mark a watershed moment for chess – raising the sport’s profile and enhancing its fan base. The aim is to discover new generations of chess champions and take the sport to new commercial heights.

Five-time world champion and Indian Grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand has stepped on board to mentor, partner, advise and help shape the league. As the face of the sport for a global audience, Mr Anand’s motivational and inspirational stature across the world will help the growth of the sport.

“At this time, a unique opportunity exists to popularise the sport further,” said Mr Mahindra, “and to dramatically enhance its visibility through a global league powered by technology.” “Through this unique global league format, we will be able to keep the spirit of chess intact and ensure that the right platform is provided to upcoming talent.”

The League will have eight franchise-owned teams across the world. It will comprise a mix of men and women players, in addition to junior players and wildcard entrants playing each other in a round-robin format. The semi-finalists will enter the knockout stage of the championship.

Commenting about the Chess League, CP Gurnani, MD & CEO, said, “The Global Chess League will help us create an exceptional and inspirational experience by bringing the game home to global fans.”