By Venkatachari Jagannathan
Chennai, June 2 (IANS) The International Chess Federation, popularly known as FIDE, said on Thursday that Indian software company Tech Mahindra Ltd has been onboarded as digital partner for the upcoming Chess Olympiad to be held at Mahabalipuram near here.
The Chess Olympiad will be held from July 28 to August 9 at Mahabalipuram with the government of Tamil Nadu as the host and principal sponsor.
Meanwhile, suspense continues over the status of the Global Chess League (GCL) that was announced last year by FIDE and Tech Mahindra.
Former world champion Viswanathan Anand, who will not be playing for India this time as he is contesting for the FIDE Deputy President's post, will work with Tech Mahindra and advise on next-generation chess technology and fan engagement.
According to FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, the agreement between FIDE and Tech Mahindra will allow the fans to enjoy chess through an interactive platform while giving FIDE innovative ways of promoting the game.
Tech Mahindra will be the first corporate to come on board for the FIDE Chess Olympiad.
Further, the organisation will solidify its commitment towards diversity and inclusion and associate with the FIDE Woman's World Cup and FIDE Woman's Grand Prix.
'We are delighted to welcome Tech Mahindra on board as a digital partner for the historic occasion for chess in India. We are looking forward to working with the team in making the FIDE Chess Olympiad a grand success,' said Bharat Singh Chouhan, Secretary, AICF.
'It is a great moment for Indian chess to stage a historic Olympiad with a great team, and I am looking forward to working with FIDE, AICF, and their digital partner - Tech Mahindra. Their expertise in leveraging technology to give the chess fans a unique experience will be the big highlight of the Olympiad,' said Anand.
As part of the partnership, Tech Mahindra will provide digital technology solutions such as Fan Nxt. Now to redefine the experience for fans across the globe.
The FIDE and the listed company Tech Mahindra in June 2021 had announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for creating together the Global Chess League.
'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,' FIDE and Tech Mahindra had said.
The proposed league will be accorded the exclusive status of the only world league officially recognised by the FIDE.
However, nothing has been heard about the proposed league or incorporation of the holding company, the shareholding pattern and other aspects.
A list of questions that included the status of the Global Chess League sent to Dvorkovich last month remains unanswered till date.
It is also rumoured that the League's plans have been cancelled.
When contacted for clarification, a senior FIDE official had told IANS in March: 'Nothing is cancelled. The project is very complex and we are still discussing various options and formats.'
According to the official, there are too many question marks so he cannot elaborate further on the issue.
(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be reached at )
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