Anand Mahindra aims to give chess its IPL moment

The billionaire wants to turn the game into a spectator sport with the Global Chess League. Can he pull it off?

When the 2020 chess olympiad was on, Anand Mahindra found himself hooked. “Never thought watching a chess tournament online would grab my attention so strongly,” he tweeted. “But this is a great spectator sport during a lockdown…”

The chairman of the billion-dollar Mahindra Group is known to take an interest in sports. In 2014, he co-founded the Pro Kabaddi League. It’s among the few Indian sporting leagues that haven’t fizzled out after a few editions. Understandably, his tweet sent chess fans into a tizzy.

Someone asked him if he’d consider organizing a chess league sometime. “Happy to talk,” Mahindra replied. …


Omkar Khandekar

Omkar specializes in long-form narrative features and has reported from India, the UK, Germany and the Maldives. He writes across beats, from politics and crime to cinema and sports. His works have been published in Indian and international outlets including The Caravan, Mint Lounge, the BBC, Al Jazeera and The Huffington Post.

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