World Chess of­fi­cials sue to stop pi­rat­ing of match

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Or­ga­niz­ers of the World Chess Cham­pi­onship sued on Mon­day to block a trio of web­site op­er­a­tors from dis­tribut­ing footage of the Nov. 11-30 match in New York, which is ex­pected to draw mil­lions of on­line view­ers.

The law­suit, filed by World Chess US Inc and World Chess Events Ltd in Man­hat­tan fed­eral court, seeks to limit the op­er­a­tors from stream­ing the 12-game con­test be­tween world cham­pion Magnus Carlsen of Nor­way and chal­lenger Sergey Kar­jakin of Rus­sia.

In­stead, the tour­na­ment or­ga­niz­ers want to pro­tect their ex­clu­sive rights to air the event run un­der the aus­pices of the In­ter­na­tional Chess Fed­er­a­tion, or FIDE.

“These en­ti­ties ex­pend no time, ef­fort, or money of their own in or­ga­niz­ing, pro­duc­ing, or host­ing the chess events for the World Cham­pi­onship and in­stead reap eco­nomic ben­e­fit from free-rid­ing on the work and ef­fort of World Chess,” the law­suit said.

The de­fen­dants, Chess­games Ser­vices LLC, E-Learn­ing Ltd and Log­i­cal Think­ing Ltd were not im­me­di­ately reach­able for com­ment.

While spec­ta­tors will watch the tour­na­ment from the venue in lower Man­hat­tan, most pro­fes­sional chess tour­na­ments are viewed over the internet. That makes stream­ing of the events par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant, or­ga­niz­ers said.

The match be­tween the grand­mas­ters, both in their 20s and com­pet­ing for a $1 mil­lion prize, will be streamed live in 360de­gree Vir­tual Real­ity (VR), a first in any sport.

The fea­ture, in which users are meant to feel more im­mersed in the game, costs $15 per user, but the com­pany will also pro­vide moves and an­a­lyt­ics as a sep­a­rate prod­uct free of charge.

Match or­ga­niz­ers said in Sep­tem­ber that the vir­tual real­ity fea­ture is part of a longterm goal to in­crease prof­its off of chess matches by mak­ing the games more in­ter­ac­tive on­line.

The World Chess Cham­pi­onship has been held in an of­fi­cial ca­pac­ity since the late 1800s. Its global pop­u­lar­ity in the prein­ter­net era peaked in 1972 dur­ing the Cold War when Amer­i­can Bobby Fis­cher de­feated Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union in Reyk­javik, Ice­land, for the world crown.

The 1995 match be­tween then world cham­pion Garry Kas­parov of Rus­sia and Viswanathan Anand of In­dia was the last ti­tle con­test to be held in the United States in New York’s World Trade Cen­ter.—Reuters

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