Asian Chess Federation and VADR Media create Checkmate Live

United Arab Emirates – (August 31, 2022) – Asian Chess Federation and Australasian-based VADR Media are pleased to announce that they have entered into an exclusive long-term partnership with the creation of Checkmate Live. The strategic partnership sees Checkmate live becoming the Asian Chess Federations’ official online tournament platform, data and broadcast partner.

Asian Chess Federation General Secretary Hisham Al Taher (left) and John McRae, Founder and Managing Director of VADR Media

The Asian Chess Federation (ACF) is the international governing body of chess across the Asian Continent, uniting 52 national member federations across Asia, the Middle East and Oceania. Its headquarters are in Al-Ain, the United Arab Emirates, and its President is His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan.

VADR is an executive production firm established in 2008 that produces and promotes new media, sports and entertainment. They ventured into e-sports in 2015 when they launched Let’s Play Live and subsequently grew it into Australia and New Zealand’s largest independent e-sports provider.

Asian Chess Federation General Secretary Hisham Al Taher (centre) signing the contract with John McRae (right), Founder and Managing Director of VADR Media, witnessed by David Jenns, Principal of White Wolf Strategies.

Checkmate live is a new web3 initiative by the VADR team focused on producing and broadcasting OTB and online tournaments for a new generation of players. At its heart is a skills-based platform that provides the opportunity to compete and also win cash prizes, credits, and in-game assets in an XR-led, e-sports international chess series.

His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Bin Shakboot Al Nahayan, President Asian Chess Federation (ACF), commented:

“Technology has played an important part in the journey and development of sports over the years, often overlooking chess. In recent years, the onset of online gaming and internet improvements have enabled greater access globally. The lack of effective integrity measures for online chess has also been a concern for the community hindering greater involvement. The partnership with Checkmate will allow the Asian Chess Federation to deliver competitive online tournaments and increase opportunities for our players. A key determining factor in the decision to partner with Checkmate was their commitment to improving the integrity of online chess and their ability to successfully create a solution that satisfies ACF’s vision for the future. Once launched, ACF will be able to host official online events that are inclusive and equitable and will provide even greater access for our members.”

“We are delighted to have partnered Checkmate with the Asian Chess Federation and are extremely grateful for the support of His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Bin Shakboot Al Nahayan. It was fortuitous that both His Highness and ACF Secretary General Hisham Al Taher also share our passion for chess and esports. We all jointly recognize the ability for competitive online chess to connect mates (friends), generations and nations”, said VADR Founder and Managing Director John McRae.

It is estimated that up to 700 million people play the 1500-year-old skill-based game. COVID-19 had a marked impact on its increasing popularity along with the release of Netflix hit mini-series ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ in 2020. This growth has seen a significant increase in chess being streamed online by influencers, major esports teams signing professional players and record online viewership numbers.

A key focus for the Checkmate team since they started their planning was to improve the integrity of online chess games.

“We identified the problem of online cheating and its impact on fair play early on and believe we have resolved this issue, although we are realistic that it will be an ongoing battle as players continue to try and game the system. We have achieved this through a mix of proprietary AI exclusive to Checkmate and existing technology, partnerships and the development of a strong integrity programme. As part of its roadmap, Checkmate will be releasing a third-party module for associations, federations and tournament organizers who wish to benefit from these efforts”, said McRae.

Checkmate’s take on chess, the world’s oldest game, will launch in Q1 2023 on Web and Mobile.

Media Contacts:

Asian Chess Federation

Hisham Al Taher


Asian Chess Federation

Check mate

John McRae

Managing Director

VADR Media


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