FIDE and Tech Mahindra announce landmark partnership marking a key milestone in the creation of the Global Chess League

New Delhi, June 04, 2021.

The International Chess Federation is pleased to announce a new partnership with Tech Mahindra Ltd., a leading provider of digital transformation, consulting and business re-engineering services and solutions. The Memorandum of Understanding signed between the parties focuses on creating together the Global Chess League, a project first proposed by Tech Mahindra Ltd. earlier this year. Now, with the support of FIDE, the Global Chess League will be provided with an accredited and exclusive status as the only world league officially recognised by the governing body of the sport of chess.

The competition will be established as a first-of-its-kind “phygital” (physical and digital) league, engaging players from all levels – professional or otherwise. In principle, it will have several franchise-owned teams from across the globe, which will comprise a mix of titled players along with juniors and wildcard entrants playing each other in an exciting format.

FIDE and Tech Mahindra will join their forces and expertise to ensure that the spirit of the game and the highest sporting and organization standards are maintained. FIDE will help structure the technical regulations, and promote the league through its media channels, providing the global audience with an engaging platform.

The collaboration between Tech Mahindra and FIDE will also promote playing of chess in new and innovative formats, create opportunities for youth, and foster many champions globally. The partnership aims to leverage new-age technologies like 5G, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, among others, and explore innovative ways of promoting the game through interactive technology-enabled platforms.

A new holding company will be created to operate the functioning of the Global Chess League, in which the FIDE president will be part of the board of Directors. The project will also count on the five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand as mentor and partner, who will not just advise but will also help shape the league.

Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group, said, “From tweeting about the game to forming a league under Viswanathan Anand’s mentorship, and now on-boarding FIDE – the entire journey has been very gratifying. With the coming together of all the forces in the field of chess and technology, we hope the ‘Global Chess League’ will take the game to new heights and create vibrant opportunities for the entire chess community across the world.”

The collaboration will support several of FIDE’s grassroots initiatives and make chess an attractive career choice and game of global reckoning.

Arkady Dvorkovich, FIDE President, said, “The motto of Chess is ‘Gens una sumus,’ meaning “We are one people”, and we at FIDE take this unique opportunity to popularize the game which bears the motto of uniting the world. We are endeavouring to dramatically enhance its visibility through a global league powered by technology and are honoured to have partnered with Tech Mahindra. I am certain that Tech Mahindra’s expertise will further aid in elevating The Global Chess League to the next level, accelerate its popularity and lay out the most riveting tournament for chess fans.”

As part of its NXT.NOW framework, which aims to enhance ‘Human Centric Experience’, Tech Mahindra has a deep focus on leveraging cutting-edge technologies to deliver enhanced experience and enable digital transformation to meet the evolving needs of the customer.

CP Gurnani, MD & CEO, Tech Mahindra, said, “Chess and the business ecosystem are reflections of the same ‘game’, which hold people, strategy and adaptations at their core. The partnership with FIDE marks the coming together of two organizations to promote, revolutionize and drive fan engagement of a historical game, like Chess. We see great potential in this partnership which aims to raise the profile of the game, discover next generations of Chess champions – including women and children, enhance the fan base across the globe and take it to new commercial heights.”

Viswanathan Anand, five-time World Chess Champion and the mentor and partner of the Global Chess League, said, “With FIDE coming on board along with Tech Mahindra, I am sure the Global Chess League will help in catalyzing the popularity of the game while keeping the spirit of the game intact, and create opportunities for young talent across the world”.

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