Tech Mahindra. | Representative Image
Tech Mahindra, India's leading provider of digital transformation, consulting and business re-engineering services and solutions, on February 22 announced the launch of phygital (physical and digital) Global Chess League.
For this chess league, the information technology (IT) services firm has roped in five-time World Chess Champion and Indian Chess Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand as mentor, partner, and advisor, to help shape the league.
India to bid for Chess Olympiad; AICF to start Indian Chess League
Through the Global Chess League, Tech Mahindra aims to raise the profile of the sport, discover new generations of chess champions, enhance the fan base of the sport and take the sport to new commercial heights.
New age technologies like 5G, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality will be leveraged to explore innovative ways of promoting the game through interactive platforms to engage a global audience. The IT firm will act as the architect behind this concept and provide necessary operational and technological support to execute the vision.
"Chess still has an incipient and largely untapped potential across the globe. Recently, there has been a surge of interest post the online Chess Olympiad and the enormous popularity of a TV series based on the game. We hope that the creation of a league will harness this resurgence of interest and bring about a renaissance in the world of chess. I am particularly excited about sharing my learnings from founding the Pro Kabaddi league with the team in order to replicate that success on a much larger and global platform," Mahindra Group chairman Anand Mahindra said.
While Viswanathan Anand said that through the chess league a unique opportunity exists to popularise it further and dramatically enhance its visibility.
"I am personally happy to partner with a technology provider like Tech Mahindra, whose endorsement and promotion will certainly elevate the sport to a higher level and offer the right platform to popularise chess across the globe. There is a renewed interest in the game of chess and through this unique global league format, we will be able to keep the spirit of chess intact and ensure the right platform is provided to upcoming talent,” the five-time World Chess Champion said.
Tech Mahindra CEO CP Gurnani stated with the business world chess has many synergies having its emphasis on intellect, strategy and mental rigor. "By leveraging Tech Mahindra’s expertise in new age technologies like 5G and Virtual Reality to drive fan engagement and viewership globally, we can truly transform chess into an e-sport. Furthermore, this global chess league will help us create an exceptional and inspirational experience by bringing the game home to global fans,” he added.
According to the current plan, the League to engage players from all levels and will have 8 franchise-owned teams from across the world. The teams will comprise a mix of titled women and men players along with juniors and wildcard entrants playing each other in a Round Robin format.
Apart from this, the teams qualifying for the semifinals will enter the knockout stage of the championship. Innovative scoring, board selection methods and a fantasy league to maximise viewer engagement are also on the cards. The IT firm added that the final league structure and team details will be announced soon.