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Vishwanathan Anand named mentor of Tech Mahindra's proposed Global Chess League
New Delhi, February 23, 2021
Tech Mahindra Ltd on Monday named five-time World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand as mentor and partner of the company's proposed first-of-its-kind phygital (physical and digital) Global Chess League.
The league 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, a press release from 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 said.
Current plans envision the league to engage players from all levels – professional or otherwise. The league will have eight franchiseowned 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 release said.
The teams qualifying for the semi-finals 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 maximize viewer engagement. The final league structure and team details will be announced in due course," it said.
Vishwanathan Anand said, "Chess is a game that is played by millions around the world. At this time, a unique opportunity exists to popularize it further and dramatically enhance its visibility through a global league powered by technology."
"I am 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 popularize 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," he added.
Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra 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.
"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."