Welcome to the new World Chess Broadcasting Platform!
Important features: it’s well-designed, has great features that appeal to non-professionals, has the best chess chat ever, will be available for all chess organizers shortly to broadcast events for free (and even make money with it), and it works.
In 2016, World Chess, the organizer of the World Chess Championship Matches, debuted its own broadcasting platform and a Pay-Per-View model, where users could follow the games for free and could buy a premium access to watch video broadcast and other features.
The platform worked fairly well, drawing over 40,000 premium customers, but it failed in many important ways: user-experience was not the best it could be, there were issues with payment, there were very few feedback and support options and it lacked features that users expected from other platforms, such as lichess (who are great!) and chess24.
The software envelope was also outdated as newer solutions were introduced in the last two years.
And finally, the system was not scalable and we could not offer it to our event and broadcasting partners.
We have redesigned the platform from the ground-up and here are the main changes:
— Now its design is in line with the official World Chess events. Fans online and onsite will be in the same design environment (it sounds silly now but it will be important as the project develops)
— Registration is easy and intuitive now and it’s free. You can register to use chat and other features and buy premium access for video and analytics only if you want to.
— Chat has been re-designed with chess experience in mind.
— Gaming options (such as betting) are being added
— Full archive and intuitive navigation for historic events is being added
— Q&A section, 24/7 support and self-help are employed to make sure all issues are resolved ASAP.
— Platform is now offered to some organizers in Beta and will be available to all who want to broadcast their tournaments on World Chess in the coming months. Organizers will have an option to make their event a Pay-Per-View and add additional revenue stream and also have an incentive to make their event outstanding (otherwise no one will want to pay for it).
We are releasing the platform in Beta now and will be adding features before the biggest event in chess, the World Chess Championship Match. We will have an opportunity to implement some of the ideas and suggestions we receive from users.
AI-component (it’s a line or two lines of text on top of the board) informs spectators of the status of each game (sometimes they can’t get into detailed data or evaluation). Of course, they can dig-in if they have time and see the detailed move-by-move play and evaluation.
Betting. Not the one where you can bet real money (at least, not yet!) but a way for you to predict the outcome of the game by dragging the coin to the winning side of the board. Once you made a bet, you will see the betting odds based on other users’ opinions. These bets will be recorded in users’ profiles and they can at anytime see overall accuracy of their predictions.
Option to switch to large video. Sometimes it’s more fun to follow the commentary than the board, and users can switch between larger broad or larger video screen (and back), depending on their mood, situation, or device.
We are pleased to release beta-version of the platform in time for the Batumi Olympiad. We will be adding more features in the coming days and we’d love to hear from you.
Please write to World Chess CEO Ilya Merenzon at firstname.lastname@example.org with any ideas or comments. We’d love to hear from you!