Chess group sues to block websites from reporting on tournament
By Julia Marsh November 8, 2016 | 8:04pm
In a surprise gambit, the organizers of the World Chess Championship have sued to block three websites from reporting on plays from the tournament that opens Friday in New York.
World Chess U.S. is asking a Manhattan federal court judge to issue an injunction before Nov. 11, arguing that the tournament has exclusive rights to broadcasting the event.
For the first time this year World Chess will offer a virtual reality live-feed of the 12-game tournament for $15 a person.
In the past, millions of chess fans have tracked championship games through sites like Chessgames Services, which has no direct video of the event but replicates players’ moves on a duplicate board.
“I regard [the suit] as litigative bullying,” said Daniel Freeman, owner of Chessgames.
Freeman said he reports the facts of the game as they trickle out on social media. Freeman said he has a right to reports that information.
World Chess officials argue in the new Manhattan federal lawsuit that the sites profit off the tournament without spending any time or money to organize the event.
Norwegian Magnus Carlsen will face off against Russian Sergey Karjakin for $1 million prize.
The match will be held in the Fulton Market building in lower Manhattan. New York last hosted the tournament in 1995 in the WTC.