World chess secures sponsorship of Russian antimalware firm Kaspersky Lab

center_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Bobby Fischer captured the world’s imagination when he took the world chess championship from Boris Spassky in their epic 1972 encounter.But since then chess as a spectator sport has struggled to tap into the game’s commercial possibilities.Now one of the world’s biggest and most recognisable cyber security firms has stepped in to change that.Kaspersky Lab, the Russian anti-malware expert, announced on Monday it is to sponsor Fide’s flagship 2017 Grand Prix series.The new signing will be considered a major cup for World Chess by Agon, the commercial arm of the game’s governing body. Last year, in an attempt to generate new interest in its own events, Fide handed over the organisation of the Grand Prix and World Championship cycle, to Agon.Three major partnerships were secured in time for the New York world championship with asset management group EG Capital Advisors and PhosAgro, the giant phosphates group, and S.T. Dupont, the luxury goods company.Eugene Kaspersky, chairman and CEO of Kaspersky Lab, said: “I’m very proud that we’re now a partner of the World Chess Championship.”The ultimate game of strategy, chess involves lots of excitement and tension too. The top chess tournaments are all about human brainpower – aided today by computer technologies.”Some games at the very top level are simply among the top human achievements – real masterpieces. And we’re happy to become a part of this.”Kaspersky also recently signed a deal to sponsor the Russian world championship challenger Sergey Karjakin while its rival Microsoft sponsor the current champion Magnus Carlsen. The 2017 Grand Prix will kick off in Sharjah on February 18last_img read more