Online Chess platform Chess.com has announced that its penultimate event of the 2023 Champions Chess Tour season will be sponsored by Swiss private bank Julius Baer.
The event will be called the 2023 Julius Baer Generation Cup, with the competition taking place online for its $235,000 (~£182,000) prize pool. The event on August 30th is the fourth leg of Chess.com’s $2m (~£1.5m) series.
Despite being a game played offline for centuries, Chess has recently found a growing younger audience due to the game’s transferability into a virtual discipline. It notably became highly popular amongst streamers during the COVID pandemic. Earlier this year, the Champion Chess Tour’s Chessable Masters 2023 secured a peak viewership of 114,300, according to Esports Charts.
The Champion Chess Tour also has a partnership with endemic gaming chair brand Secret Lab, as well as deals with Puma and Norwegian air quality company Airthings. Professional Chess player Hikaru Nakamura is also currently a content creator for Misfits Gaming.
However, despite the game’s transition into an online competition, there are still questions over whether Chess is considered an esport due to its origins and continued popularity as a physical board game.
This is the second Julius Baer Generation Cup following its debut last year. Moreover, the bank will also become a title partner of the Julius Baer Women’s Speed Chess Championship.
Antje Hembd, Head Global Sponsoring and Partnership Julius Baer, commented: “The Julius Baer Generation Cup is an important testament to our commitment and support of the Champions Chess Tour. In its second year, the JB Generation Cup again highlights the incredible inclusivity the game can promote and inspires a new generation of aspiring champions.
“In addition, we are looking forward to support[ing] the ‘The Women’s Speed Chess’ Championship to empower women and create a more equitable, diverse and exciting chess landscape.”