International Chess Federation Checks Into Web3 With Avalanche Integration

The global chess authority is looking to onboard the game’s 500 million players into Web3 with the new partnership.

AccessTimeIconDec 23, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 23, 2022 at 4:18 p.m. UTC

Chess is going on-chain.

The International Chess Federation (FIDE), the sport’s governing body, announced Friday it is partnering with the Avalanche blockchain to bring its competitions into Web3.

The partnership will create “operational efficiencies for players and federations and improve game integrity,” according to a press release, such as publishing tournament data and player rankings on-chain, as well as AVAX-hosted tournament prize pools.

The tie-up also places Ava Labs, the builders behind the Avalanche blockchain, and Core, a self-custody crypto wallet, as featured sponsors at physical chess tournaments around the world, including the World Chess Championship and Chess Olympiad.

“Chess is a unique sport and this cooperation will allow us to unify our community and strengthen the ties between players, clubs, federations and FIDE,” Emil Sutovsky, FIDE CEO, said in a statement.

FIDE’s Web3 integrations follow alongside the chess world’s gradual embrace of digital mediums. The federation says more than 100 million people play online chess regularly and compete in over 25 million virtual chess matches each day.

Despite mainstream excitement for Web3 and non-fungible tokens (NFT) declining in recent months, federations like FIDE still see potential in the industry to grow its sport. The governing body of table tennis launched a similar Web3 campaign last August.

The collaboration between FIDE and AVAX also isn’t the first time that chess has castled with crypto. Chess legend Garry Kasparov launched his first collection of NFTs earlier this month, and play-to-earn chess games such as MetaChess have been popular for much of the past year.


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Eli is a news reporter for CoinDesk. He holds ETH, SOL and AVAX.

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