UPDATE 22/03: This article originally stated that Hikaru Nakamura is signed to esports organisation TSM. While he was previously at TSM he is now signed to Misfits Gaming. The article has been corrected accordingly.
Chess.com’s Champions Chess Tour has announced WorldQuant, a quantitative asset management firm, as its first new partner of 2023.
WorldQuant will be an official partner of the Champions Chess Tour and Chess.com’s broadcast of the 2023 World Chess Championship.
WorldQuant has partnered with the Champions Chess Tour to promote its 2023 International Quant Championship (IQC), a competition that will see students, academia and professionals compete from around the globe. Competitors will be tasked with applying quantitative skills to predictive mathematical models.
The Airthings Masters kicked off the 2023 Champions Chess Tour in February, with the event won by legendary world champion Magnus Carlsen. The next event will be the Chessable Masters, which commences on April 3rd.
Chess, a game that supposedly originated in India around 1,500 years ago, has grown in popularity recently thanks to sites like Chess.com and Twitch. The discipline regularly brings in impressive viewership numbers, such as the recent Airthings Masters reaching a peak viewership of 171,489, which is higher than most esports events. Personalities like Hikaru Nakamura, who was signed by esports organisation TSM but now represents Misfits Gaming, and the aforementioned Carlsen are bringing in a new generation of chess fans online.
Last year, Chess.com hired former Twitch executive Michael Brancato as its Vice President of Esports. Brancato also used to be a professional Super Smash Bros player.
Arne Horvei, Chess.com’s Director of Creative Content Development & Head of Champions Chess Tour Production, said: “We are thrilled WorldQuant recognises the increasing relevance of online chess and significant crossovers between the chess community and STEM fields.
“We are delighted to partner with WorldQuant and share the opportunity of the International Quant Championship to the chess community which we know has a lot of analytical talent.”
WorldQuant has over $7bn in assets under management, according to the company.