After patronizing Pro Kabbadi League, IT services firm Tech Mahindra has taken up the responsibility of popularising chess and taking the sport to new commercial heights.
The IT service firm announced the launch of the phygital (physical and digital) Global Chess League, which aims to popularise the sport by discovering new generations of chess champions, enhancing fan base, and take the sport to new commercial heights.
For this purpose, Tech Mahindra has roped in five-time World Chess Champion and Indian Chess Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand as a mentor, partner, and advisor, to help shape the league.
“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.
The league will have 8 franchisee-owned teams from across the world and will comprise a mix of titled women and men players along with juniors and wildcard entrants playing each other in a Round Robin format.
The teams qualifying for the semifinals will enter the knockout stage of the championship.
Innovative scoring, board selection methods, and a fantasy league to maximize viewer engagement are also on the cards. The firm added that the final league structure and team details will be announced soon.
The firm will also provide much-needed operational and technological support to execute the vision.
It plans to leverage new-age technologies like 5G, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality to explore innovative ways to promote the sport via interactive platforms to engage a global audience.
Viswanathan Anand hoped that the league would boost the popularity of the sport and 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,” Vishwanathan 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.