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Gukesh gets signed by FairPlay Sports

by Himank Ghosh - 17/12/2022

The life of a 2700+ chess player is very busy. Opening preparation becomes a major need, your ideas need to be more and more exclusive. You have to form a team of seconds, pick and choose the best tournaments for you, and get coaching from world-class trainers. This whole process is very expensive, so it is very important for these players like Gukesh D to get Sponsorships. That's why it is a great news that FairPlay Sports has signed Gukesh D! Read more about how this signing came to fruition, as we talk with Gukesh's coach Vishnu Prasanna, and Bandana Chhetri, the founder of FairPlay Sports.

The year of Gukesh

2022 has been a landmark year for Gukesh D. At the end of 2021, he was a promising young rising star from India with a classical rating of 2614. After 1 year, Gukesh is now the India no. 3 at a tender age of 16 , his rating now 2725!

Gukesh's FIDE Rating progress chart. Seeing this, we can't really say that this outburst in 2022 was unexpected - he was making long strides every year! | Photo: FIDE Ratings website

To end an extremely successful year for the WestBridge-Anand Chess Academy student, he has now been signed by FairPlay Sports! This is what the FairPlay Sports Team had to say in their Instagram post:

The welcome poster for D Gukesh by FairPlay Sports. | Photo: Fairplay Sports Instagram
FairPlay Sports is stoked to announce the signing of the chess prodigy D Gukesh! Gukesh is currently ranked 18th as per FIDE world rankings, and is the third youngest person in the world to attain the GM title at the age of 12. We are delighted on him on-board as an exclusive talent. Looking forward to his dominance of the 64-square battlefield in the years to come!

About FairPlay Sports

FairPlay Sports is a Sport Consultancy and Agency that handles brands, business and public image for athletes in various disciplines. Home to some of India's best sportspersons, FairPlay liaises with brands to take care of partnerships, affiliations, sponsorships, intellectual property development, activations and media work.

Some of the big Indian sportspersons signed by FairPlay Sports - from Badminton, Cricket, Football and Hockey!

This is FairPlay Sports' first venture in the chess field, and the first player they have signed is Grandmaster Dommaraju Gukesh!

A smiling Gukesh after the signing, with Ms. Bandana Chhetri - Founder , FairPlay Sports

We asked some questions to Gukesh's long-time trainer, Grandmaster Vishnu Prasanna on the matter.

Gukesh's coach GM Vishnu Prasanna - his guiding force since 2017! | Photo: Gukesh Twitter

Why did you decide to find a PR and Talent management company for Gukesh?

GM Vishnu Prasanna: We were approached by FairPlay Sports after the Olympiad, and I thought this would be a good addition to Gukesh's team.

The Chennai Chess Olympiad was Gukesh's biggest success in 2022 - he scored an amazing 9/11 and won the Gold medal in Board 1 for Team India! | Photo: Madelene Belinki

Why did you Decide on Fairplay sports?

GM Vishnu Prasanna: They already have elite athletes from different sports that they manage, and I thought Gukesh would be in good company there. Also, the person who contacted me from FairPlay Sports, had an understanding of chess.


What is the way in which they will help Gukesh's career?

GM Vishnu Prasanna: I think it will help him get recognition for the efforts and achievements outside the chess community to the general public. It would also be a way for him to be visible to brands that might be interested in associating with him.

While performing well in chess tournaments is very important and the prime motive of any chess player, his team should always look out for PR, so that sponsors are attracted to invest in them! | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

We also asked some questions to Bandana Chhetri, the Founder of FairPlay Sports.


Fairplay Sports has signed many big sportspersons before. Why did you decide to sign up Gukesh?

Bandana Chhetri: Our talent team has been focusing intently on chess in the past few months. There’s a wide pool of emerging chess players in the country. His recent performance in the World Chess Olympiad has shown the potential this young talent possesses. The growth in the popularity of chess post COVID-19 has been immense. For us, Gukesh is hands down the most promising young talent. Additionally, he’s smart, articulate, and extremely humble. We have no doubt that he will become one of the best in the game. Hence his signing is part of a long-term strategy for us.

The golden boy from Chennai has had an excellent 2022 - he is getting more and more invites in elite events, the most recent one being Tata Steel Masters 2023! | Photo: Stev Bonhage

This is the first chess player Fairplay Sports have signed. Where did the chess connection come from?

Bandana Chhetri: In fact, we have worked with chess talents in the past so we have an understanding about the business part of the game. We also have people in our talent team who have personal connections to the chess world. As a sports marketing agency, we’re always looking for talent that has exceptional ability, and once the conversation with Gukesh and his father started, we were sure that we wanted to be a part of his journey.

Developing a world class chess prodigy - Rajinikanth, father D. Gukesh

What is your vision with regards to Gukesh?

Bandana Chhetri: As mentioned earlier, we see Gukesh as one of the most promising sports talents in the country. He is known for his expertise in the classical format but his recent venture into the shorter formats shows his interest in becoming a master in all the formats of the game. For an athlete, its important for him or her to enjoy the game rest everything comes later. 

Chess is the next big thing in India!

Do you plan to sign more chess players in future days? What is your take on the chess scene in India as of now?

Bandana Chhetri: In future, we would definitely want to add more chess players to our athlete roster. India is among the top nations in the world when it comes to chess. From business point of view, chess is a sport which possesses huge opportunities for brands. The popularity of the game can be defined on the success of the Chess Olympiad in Chennai. The sport is growing and will continue to grow as more and more young talents come forward to shock the world with their performances.


Important links

FairPlay Sports official website

FairPlay Sports Instagram

Related news:
Velammal Nexus felicitates Gukesh

@ 16/12/2022 by Himank Ghosh (en)

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