NEW YORK, N.Y. – Arguments over a lawsuit aimed at restricting who can instantly reveal moves at the World Chess Championship will be heard on Thursday, a day before the games begin.
A federal court judge set the hearing to decide whether to block some websites from immediately relaying players’ moves when they begin Friday in New York.
World Chess US Inc. and World Chess Events Ltd. sued three websites on Monday, saying they will take advantage of a $15 live feed of the 12-game tournament to relay word of each move over the internet. Magnus Carlsen, of Norway, and Sergey Karjakin, of Russia, are competing for at least $1 million.
Daniel Freeman, owner of Chessgames Services LLC, which runs one of the sites, said Wednesday he’s doing nothing wrong as he relays moves that he learns about through others on social media or elsewhere. He said he does not view the live feed.
He said those following the live feed will still learn moves shortly before he does.
“Chess moves have been demonstrated over and over again to be in the public domain,” Freeman said. “World Chess thinks they can create an exception.”
He said the internet immediately lights up with each move during the games.
“Every move will become public information seconds after it’s played,” he said. “And that will happen whether they succeed in getting an injunction.”
The lawsuit also seeks $4.5 million.