Friday 24 January 2020

World chess champion buys tech start-up from Swindon-based amateur

David Kramaley has sold online chess site Chessable to grandmaster Magnus Carlsen for an undisclosed sum.

David Kramaley, Chessable founder (Chessable/PA)
David Kramaley, Chessable founder (Chessable/PA)

By Henry Saker-Clark, PA City Reporter

An amateur chess player from Swindon has sold a fast-growing tech start-up to chess grandmaster Magnus Carlsen.

David Kramaley has sold Chessable to the world champion’s business after a surge in popularity of the online chess site over the past year.

The site, which contains science-based training tools for chess players as well as related content, has been sold for an undisclosed fee, although the fee is understood to be more than £1 million.

The psychology student launched the tech business in 2016 with the backing of top US chess trainer John Bartholomew.

Chessable came to the attention of Mr Carlsen’s Play Magnus chess-learning company after he defended his world title in London last year.

I believe this is a tool that can help players at different levels improve their chess games in an effective way Chess grandmaster Magnus Carlsen

The grandmaster said the platform shares his company’s vision of creating premier experiences for playing, learning and watching chess online.

As part of the deal, Play Magnus said it will also invest 600,000 US dollars (£497,000) of funding to drive Chessable’s next stage of growth.

Mr Carlsen said: “I am really impressed by what David and his team have been able to achieve in such a short time.

“I believe this is a tool that can help players at different levels improve their chess games in an effective way.”

Mr Kramaley said: “To be taken over by the world champion, and arguably the greatest player ever to play the game, is a dream come true for us.

“We have worked very hard to create something new and innovative that will shake up the chess-learning market – and we’ve achieved that.

“It is designed to super-charge your learning in the most efficient way possible, and now the very top players in the world are beginning to take us very seriously indeed.”

The app is one of a number, including Chessbase, which have grown rapidly, as players look to analyse performance.

However, they were thrust into the spotlight when a Latvian chess grandmaster was accused of using mobile phone chess apps to cheat at a tournament in July.

PA Media

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