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Unibet goes big on chess

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Bookmaker Unibet is backing up its sponsorship of the FIDE World Chess Championship with a range of markets that will enable its customers to bet on every aspect of the competition.

The Championship gets underway on November 9 at the The College London and runs until November 28. It will feature American challenger Fabiano Caruana taking on Norwegian chess master Magnus Carlsen in a twelve round series. Earlier this year, Unibet became the first betting company to get involved FIDE event when it announced its deal to be the main event sponsor.

Magnus Carlsen, who has been widely credited with sparking a chess revival, is regarded as Norway’s top sportsman, and can boast a significant global following. As a result, FIDE are predicting that the London event could break records for the number of viewers who follow it.

Growing interest

In an update for the markets, Unibet predicted that its multiple FIDE Championship markets may see a turnover comparable with some FIFA World Cup matches and the Champions League final. Country Manager for Unibet Norway, Richard Ostrom, said that as a major European bookmaker, the company had been keen to be involved in an increasingly popular sport and was hopeful that this was the beginning of an upsurge in betting interest in the sport:

The odds in this highly competitive match will continue to fluctuate and this year’s World Championship showdown…will continue to establish chess as a permanent fixture in betting.”

On Friday, Unibet made Carlsen the favourite to win the World Championship, but the company is also offering odds on individual games and more obscure aspects of the play, including the number of moves that White makes during a game and Game Handicap markets.

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