Seven years: ChessBase India (2)

by Sagar Shah
1/26/2023 – It calls for a celebration: ChessBase India turned seven years old on 18th of January 2023. In the second part of his article, the CEO and co-founder of ChessBase India, IM Sagar Shah, writes about the work done by the ChessBase India team in the last 365 days. There is so much to tell – it is a wonderful success story.

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Read part one: ChessBase India is seven years old!                 

The Chess Olympiad 2022 in Chennai

The Chess Olympiad was a massive event for India. One of the biggest in the history. It was a phenomenal achievement on the part of AICF and Tamil Nadu Government to bring this tournament to our country. We, at ChessBase India, of course wanted to be a part of this entire event. We were one of the official broadcasters of the tournament. The tournament was broadcast on the ChessBase India channel, and it reached millions of people.

The entire ChessBase India team at the Olympiad | Photo: Stev Bonhage

The man who has been instrumental in popularizing chess in India in a big way in the lockdown - Samay Raina. The well-known stand-up comedian joined us in the broadcast and made the commentary so much fun with his witty remarks!

The ChessBase India stall was one of the most active stalls at the entire Olympiad. We sold a total of 2733 products at the Olympiad: books, software, t-shirts, chess sets etc.

The ChessBase India t-shirt is something that has become very popular over the years.

Launched in 2018, the classic ChessBase India t-shirt has been loved by one and all!


An iconic photo with youngsters wearing the ChessBase India collared t-shirt in their 2019 training session with Vladimir Kramnik. Today they are all strong grandmasters.

People loved the quality and had been asking us to launch hoodies, sweatshirts and zippers in the shop. This is what we managed to do in 2022. One thing that we want to ensure when it comes to clothing is that you get the best quality material to wear which would make you feel comfortable in any environment, especially when playing chess.

Check out these new products in the ChessBase India shop

One of the things we did prior to the Olympiad was a series of six epsidoes with IM V. Saravanan called the Olympiad stories. All of these episodes have been transcribed and can be found here: Korchnoi vs Karpov, Vishy Anand, Judit Polgar, Vladimir Kramnik, Manuel Aaron, Levon Aronian.

This is a beautiful final video that gives you an entire feel of how the Olympiad went for India | Video: Aditya Sur Roy

India won a bronze medal in the open section and a bronze medal in the women section. Besides that, we won the Gaprindashvili Cup, and we had Gukesh, Nihal Sarin, Praggnanandhaa, Arjun Erigaisi, R. Vaishali, Tania Sachdev, Divya Deshmukh winning individual medals. What a wonderful event this was.

Getting serious about Heart Rate

In order to get chess more spectator friendly, it is important to get more elements in the broadcast. One of the things that many people had been tinkering with in the past in the heart rate monitoring. ChessBase India made massive strides in this direction in 2022. We had the heart rate monitoring death match 1.0 and 2.0, and it was extremely enjoyable for the viewers. We also worked extremely hard, to ensure the heart rates of all ten players at the Tata Steel Chess India 2022 was captured and shown to the viewers.

107 heart beats per minute for Anish and 130 for Vidit! Death Match 1.0 in Mumbai

Gukesh and Arjun were so solid when it came to their heart rates! 93 for Gukesh and 102 for Arjun. It also explains why they are excellent speed chess players!

At the Tata Steel Chess India 2022 we made the heart-rate a part of the LiChess board itself. It meant that as well changed the boards, the heart rate numbers would also change based on the players! As you can see above Hikaru has a heart rate of 139 and Abdusattorov has 92. This entire setup did take some effort, but it was a very pleasant experience for the viewers.

The heart rate guy - Ashwin Subramanian!

The Khelo Chess Initiative by Hindi ChessBase India

Niklesh Jain, the head of ChessBase India Hindi, came up with the idea of Khelo Chess Initiative. His idea is to make sure chess is spread to more people in the Hindi-speaking regions of India. For this, he plans to organize tournaments, do simuls, give lectures. He already has done a successful Khelo Chess initiative at the Sanskaar Valley school in Bhopal.

Niklesh giving a simultaneous exhibition at Sanskaar Valley school. Look at the number of school kids watching this in the background! It's just amazing how an event like this can leave a big imprint in the minds of the youngsters!


An example of what a Khelo Chess India Initiative by ChessBase India looks like.

Special Thanks

We want to thank ChessBase for their continued support over all these years! 

That's Rainer Woisin, the CEO of ChessBase in Germany

A big thanks to Frederic Friedel and Matthias Wullenweber, co-founders of ChessBase. Frederic helped me tremendously to improve as a writer in 2014 and 2015. 

Sagar is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder and CEO of ChessBase India, the biggest chess news portal in the country. His YouTube channel has over a million subscribers, and to date close to a billion views. ChessBase India is the sole distributor of ChessBase products in India and seven adjoining countries, where the software is available at a 60% discount. compared to International prices.


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