New Delhi, Feb 22 (PTI) IT services major Tech Mahindra 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, a statement said.
With his motivational and inspirational stature across the world as an individual and a chess champion, Anand will help catalyse the growth of chess, further building the sport, it added.
'The League's launch will mark a watershed moment as it 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,' the company said.
New-age technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality will be at the core and will be leveraged to explore innovative ways of promoting the game through interactive platforms to engage a global audience, it added.
Tech Mahindra will act as the architect behind this concept and will provide necessary operational and technological support to execute the vision.
Current plans envision the League to engage players from all levels. The League 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.
The teams qualifying for the semifinals will enter the knockout stage of the championship.
'We are 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,' the statement said.
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, Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra 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 added.
Viswanathan Anand 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. 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,' he added.
There is a renewed interest in the game of chess and through this unique global league format, the spirit of chess will be kept intact and upcoming talent will get the right platform, he said.
CP Gurnani, MD and CEO of Tech Mahindra, said Chess has many synergies with the business world, with its emphasis on intellect, strategy and mental rigour.
'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. PTI SR RUJ RUJ