Tech Mahindra Ltd on Monday announced the launch of a “phygital” (physical and digital) Global Chess League.
Viswanathan Anand, five-time World Chess Champion and Indian Chess Grandmaster, will mentor, partner, advise and help shape the league, the company further announced. Anand will help catalyse the growth of chess, also building the sport as he joins hands with the Tech Mahindra Global Chess League and becomes its face for the global audience and his fans.
New-age technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality will be leveraged as part of the League to explore innovative ways of promoting the game through interactive platforms and to engage a global audience.
Tech Mahindra will provide the necessary operational and technological support to execute the vision and this concept.
“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,” Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group, said.
“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,” he said.
“Chess is a game that is played by millions around the world. At this time, a unique opportunity exists to popularise it further and dramatically enhance its visibility through a global league powered by technology,” said the five-time world champion Anand.
“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,” added Anand.
As per the current plan, the League will engage players from all levels – professional or otherwise. It will have eight franchise-owned teams from across the globe which will comprise a mix of titled women and men players and 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. The company is actively looking at the prospect of introducing innovative scoring, board selection methods and a fantasy league to maximise viewer engagement. The final League structure and team details will be announced in due course, it said.