In April of 2013 Magnus Carlsen won the Candidates Tournament in chess in London, and thereby earned the right to challenge Anand for the World Champion title against reigning champion for the past six years Viswanathan Anand.
VG has covered Magnus Carlsen for several years with traditional journalism, but having a Norwegian in the most prestigious competition in a large world sport, lasting for several weeks, demanded new solutions.
VG acknowledged that this could be one of our most important editorial commitments of 2013, and wanted to make a significant contribution of transforming high level chess analysis into a national event.
Chess is traditionally not a big spectator sport, it’s complicated and a big challenge to follow move by move. Our challenge when planning the coverage of this event was mainly how to report the intricate games of chess in a correct way, and at the same time make it easily accessible for the masses. And also; how can we do this visually appealing, given that national broadcaster NRK bought the television rights for the event?
The Chess Direct Studio gave our users a real time experience of the World Chess Championship in Chennai 2013. Our Chess Direct Studio carried live manual and automated text updates, interaction with users, several unique graphic elements and more than 50 hours of live VGTV during the course of the championships. Our platform especially designed for the championships made it possible for our readers to interact with experts by text and via our TV broadcast. Using suitable types of content across the platform we created a positive cycle where we were able to enrich each medium with other real time elements.
Even though we had no TV-rights for the tournament, VGs Chess Direct Studio quickly became the preferred service for Norwegians following the chess event. The sophisticated technical platform brought together all kinds of multimedia content in one service, presented visually appealing and making a high level game of chess understandable for everyone. For two weeks Norway had chess fever – in great part as a result of VGs coverage through Chess Direct Studio.