Chess.com is the first official broadcast partner of the Women’s World Chess Championship cycle and the 2022 Women’s World Chess Championship as part of a historic multi-year agreement with the International Chess Federation (FIDE). FIDE is hosting the first-ever Women’s World Cup with the best female players competing for a $676,250 prize fund. This agreement underscores Chess.com’s commitment towards growing, supporting, and strengthening strong chess talent within the female chess community.
“We’re more excited than ever about highlighting the talent in top-level women’s chess,” said Chief Chess Officer Danny Rensch. “The Women’s Speed Chess Championship was awesome and featured the highest-ever prize fund for a women’s online competition, and we’re thrilled to partner with FIDE to help shed a spotlight on the biggest stages of women’s chess.”
The agreement includes broadcast rights for all major FIDE events in which GMs Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, and other chess celebrities will compete head-to-head for prize pools in the millions of dollars. Confirmed guest commentators on Chess.com’s broadcasts of these events include five-time former world champion GM Viswanathan Anand, 2018 World Championship Challenger and world number two Caruana, GM Robert Hess, and GM Daniel Naroditsky.
The FIDE deal means that in addition to the Women’s World Championship, Chess.com’s broadcast coverage will include live player cams for the FIDE World Cup, the Chess Olympiad, the 2023 World Chess Championship, the World Rapid & Blitz Championships, and more. Chess.com had previously acquired the broadcast rights for the 2022 Candidates tournament and was the first company to acquire broadcast rights for the 2021 FIDE World Championship Match. These broadcasts will include streams in the French, German, Russian, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Polish, and Turkish languages.
“FIDE is excited about this new agreement,” said FIDE Director-General Emil Sutovsky. “Its scope ensures a wider exposure for our official events, and in particular we are happy to partner with Chess.com to promote the best women chess players. It is the first time the rights for top women competitions are getting acquired, and we are genuinely proud that the vision championed by FIDE is getting shared by a major online platform. We spare no effort to constantly improve the coverage of our events, making it accessible for both hardcore chess fans and players who just discover the magic of the game. Our partnership with Chess.com will take this experience to a new height, and we are committed to making it distinctively special,” Sutovsky said.
Chess.com has become the top global chess broadcaster through its channels on Chess.com/TV, Twitch, and YouTube. Earlier this year, Chess.com’s PogChamps influencer chess tournament reached 28 million live views among the highly coveted 18-34 advertiser demographic. The peak concurrent viewership in the chess category reached 375,000 making chess one of the Top 10 most popular games on Twitch during that time.
“We have been, and continue to be, incredibly proud to support women’s chess in all ways,” said Austin Gasparini, Chess.com’s Director of Business Development. “From increasing the prize fund of this year’s 2021 FIDE Chess.com Women’s Speed Chess Championship to be the richest online women’s chess prize fund in history, to striking this historic deal with FIDE to cover all of the most critical women’s tournaments in professional chess, Chess.com is dedicated to growing the game for players and fans equally around the world. We look forward to innovating and investing in our chess coverage to maximize women’s visibility and participation in the sport in the coming years.”
Chess.com has hired 5x sports Emmy award winner Alex Brewer as Director of Programming to support the growing popularity in chess entertainment. Formerly an associate manager at ESPN, Brewer’s career spanned content creation and production operations roles working on key company priorities such as ESPN+, College Gameday, and SportsCenter. Before his departure, he worked within ESPN’s Programming and Acquisitions group, specifically supporting original content creation for ESPN+ and 30 for 30 brands. At Chess.com, Brewer will oversee the day-to-day operations of chess programming and oversee the production of a wide range of events for a growing audience of fans worldwide.
“My mission now shifts from a career in sports media to the amazing world of chess, where I will strive to support this great community with the best content and events possible.” BCS Bureau