Mahindra Group's Tech Mahindra on Monday announced the launch of Global Chess League and roped in five-time World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand in an extensive role for a first-of-its-kind phygital (physical and digital) league.
"A moment of personal pride. Proud to announce a truly Global event with an Indian connect," Indian Chess Grandmaster Anand tweeted.
Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group, 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," he added.
The league will have eight franchise-owned teams from across the world. Tech Mahindra, in a statement, said, "The League aims to engage players across all levels - professional or otherwise - and will be played in a franchise format."
CP Gurnani, MD & CEO, Tech Mahindra, said, "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."
"Technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality will be leveraged to explore innovative ways of promoting the game... to engage a global audience. Tech Mahindra will act as the architect behind this concept... to execute the vision," Tech Mahindra added.
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 with the final League structure and team details to be announced in due course.