World Chess & Weil Of Pentagram Play ‘Chess Notes’: The Sound Of FIDE’s World Chess Champs

World Chess 1World Chess 2World Chess 3

To leverage and celebrate the 2018 FIDE World Chess Championships, tournament rights holder World Chess has partnered with celebrated designer Daniel Weil of Pentagram to create the official sound of chess via an initiative called ‘Chess Notes’.


Award-winning designer Daniel Weil, who has been creatively collaborating in the chess space since 2013, uses chess moves as a medium for generating conceptual art from the 2018 FIDE World Championships.


Indeed, Weil has actually produced an iconic chess set that is currently being used by grandmasters in some of competitive chess’ most defining events..


This innovative digital sound platform allocates each chess piece and move to a particular note and thus each game in the tournament generates a unique symphony.


The musical score for each of the 12-game matches is created under the umbrella project title ‘Chess Notes’.


For example, the symphony for the second game between reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana is posted/hosted on Soundcloud.



The scores are posted/hosted on Soundcloud



The initiative is promoted with video,



social media,



and PR work.


Ilya Merenzon, CEO World Chess said: “It’s incredible that Daniel has been able to translate the elegant moves on a chess board into a series of musical notes, creating a completely unique musical score that encapsulates the intensity and complexity of a game of chess.”


Daniel Weil, a partner at design agency Pentagram added: “Sound has become the big activated experience of the digital age, everybody has headphones. By integrating sound into the chess experience, we are modernising it and giving it an experiential dimension. Injecting a sense of drama, scale and happening.”




We like the idea, although we’re not entirely convinced by the actual musical merit of the soundtracks.


This isn’t the first sponsor/rights holder initiative we’ve seen that creates music tracks from real sports action.


Other examples of this strategy includes Wilson’s racquet launch ‘Play Your Heart Out’ musical initiative with Roger Federer and Money Mark in summer 2018 (see case study), IBM’s ‘US Open Sessions’ campaign with James Murphy in 2014 (see case study) and also the Mark Ronson fronted Coca-Cola’s ‘Move To The Beat’ and ‘My Beat Maker’ London 2012 Olympics activation.


World Chess is the exclusive official partner of FIDE and it owns the World Chess brand and the commercial rights to the World Chess Championship cycle: the brand runs the competition’s live site, ticket sales system, the broadcast platform, the live production, commentary, analytics, graphics and the like.


FIDE, the Fédération Internationale des Echecs / the World Chess Federation, is recognised by its members, players and the International Olympic Committee as the international federation for chess: the umbrella body responsible for the sport and its championships and it holds the sole rights to organise the World Chess Championships and the Chess Olympiads.


The 2018 FIDE World Chess Championships, which is being held at The College in The City of London between 9 and 27 November, is a 12-round series between reigning champion Magnus Carlsen (a Norwegian who has held the title since 2013) and American challenger Fabiano Caruana (the first American to contest the title for over 40 years).






World Chess Championship




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