TN companies of chess champion, amateur player look at Olympiad role


Two Chennai companies – Microsense, promoted by a former chess champion, and Animaker floated by an amateur player – are looking at providing their services for the upcoming Chess Olympiad to be held at Tamil Nadu’s Mahabalipuram.

The $10 million budget Chess Olympiad will be held in July-August and is said to be the largest sporting event to be hosted by India with over 150 countries expected to participate.

The Microsense Networks promoted by S. Kailasanathan, a former Champion of Tamil Nadu and who has also played for West Bengal and Delhi, is looking at providing internet connectivity for the Olympiad broadcast and also at the hotel rooms where the players and other officials will be staying.

A major supporter of Indian chess sponsoring several young chess players, Microsense also organised coaching camps for upcoming Indian chess players roping in two chess legends — former world champion Grandmaster (GM) M. Vladimir Borisovich Kramnik and GM Boris Gelfand.

The company is majorly into offering WiFi connectivity in major hotel chains in India, residential apartments, and others.

“There will be more than 150 teams participating in the Olympiad. Each team will have four players playing. All the chess boards are digital ones and are to be connected to the Internet for broadcast worldwide,” Kailasanathan, Chairman, Microsense Group told IANS.

According to him, the company is already providing WiFi connectivity in many of the hotels where the chess players are going to be housed.

“We are an ISP (Internet Service Provider) providing the end-to-end WiFi services in the hotels-like bandwidth provision and the software for guest login and usage,” Kailasanathan said.

In the hotels where Microsense is not currently present he said, the properties have to bump up their bandwidth for the players to have a good connectivity and the company can provide the same.

According to him, hotels normally buy the Internet bandwidth from a telecom service provider and source the guest login and usage details software from another.

Microsense had provided the bandwidth and WiFi infrastructure for the FIDE World Chess Championship Match held here in 2013 and also for the Indian team that participated in the recent Online Chess Olympiad.

The company sponsored the Indian team that participated in the Online Chess Olympiad.

Further 25 of the top Indian chess players have been sponsored by Microsense.

On the other hand, Animaker Inc., floated by R.S. Raghavan and Loganathan – is into do it yourself (DIY) animated video creation with over 10 million users and is ready to offer its services for the promotion of Olympiad.

The company is majorly into the enterprise segment and according to Raghavan, several companies have started investing a lot in videos for marketing their products/services, human resources training and others.

The Tamil Nadu government and the All India Chess Federation (AICF) is planning to promote the game in a major way as a part of the Olympiad runup.

“We can create the animated content for Olympiad promotion and for other needs,” Raghavan, Founder and CEO, told IANS.

Hailing from Thanjavur, Raghavan had played chess for his school.

The 200 employee Animaker which has already created animated characters for several sports will be submitting its proposal to AICF, Raghavan said.

Citing social media posts, he said people consume a lot of videos now and Chess is also a big game on the Internet.

“Even a blog text can be converted into a video content with our tools sitting in one place,” Raghavan added.

According to him, animated characters of leading players and other creatives can be made.

(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be reached at



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