GM Magnus Carlsen won’t be the world champion starting next week, but he’s still looking for new ways to grow the game of chess. On Thursday, Norway Chess announced their new joint venture called Pawn, together with Iterate, Norway’s premier venture builder, and Carlsen.
Pawn aims to connect chess fans from all backgrounds all over the world. Their first product will be a global Fantasy Chess app. The idea is that users will interact with the game of chess in novel ways. All levels of chess fans, from amateurs to grandmasters, will be able to participate and engage in a new community. According to their announcement:
First move, captain and team setups: Fantasy Chess looks at the game from the perspective of the pieces, inviting all players and chess communities to compete together side by side with the professionals.
The app intends to bring an experience that already exists in traditional fantasy sports leagues into the game of chess. Pawn has scheduled the launch of an invite-only beta during Norway Chess 2023, the super-tournament which begins at the end of May.
Carlsen himself has a penchant for fantasy football and has the following included in his Twitter profile: “Former (live) #1 Fantasy Premier League player.” This passion, it seems, is now being applied to chess in his new business endeavor.
I have seen how technology is helping to revolutionize the sport of chess. At the same time, we are only in the initial phase of what’s possible. Now, I will once again be on a journey and bring my ideas and input to new opportunities alongside, the leading entrepreneurial teams in Norway. The goal is for us to be able to spread the sport of chess to new markets and environments.
More information and updates will be published on the Pawn website here.
About Norway Chess:
Norway Chess was founded in 2013. In addition to the main super-tournament in Stavanger, they host an annual international open competition and a variety of side events, including Norway Summit, an annual conference that attracts business leaders, renowned thinkers, innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, and decision-makers.
Iterate is committed to nurturing pioneering ideas and transforming them into successful ventures. They have assembled a world-class team of experts, including coders, Michelin chefs, designers, founders, and executives from industry-leading companies such as Cisco and Telenor. Since their inception eight years ago, they have explored more than 100 diverse and imaginative concepts, refining and launching more than 30 promising startups into the market.