Competitive play

Checkmate is a vertically integrated indie game publisher focused on competitive play. Our vision is to become the premier global platform for competitive mind sports.

We aspire to offer an accessible, tolerant and sustainable eco-system for our players by leveraging cutting-edge technology in Ai, broadcast, digital, gaming, web3, and XR to provide a platform for epic battles, broadcasts, leagues and tournaments.

Checkmate is a next-gen esports-first broadcast and tournament platform for speed chess and mind games. We provide players of all skill levels a level playing field to compete for glory, cash, credits and collectables.

From Arcade to Competitive play we’re committed to ensuring players and teams play fair and get a fair go by sharing in the upside

Meet our team

Our philosophy is pretty simple — squad up with talented people and collaborate
John McRae
John McRae
CEO & Founder
Disrupting media and sport for 20+ years

  • Entertainment, Esports, Sports, New Media promoter
  • Passionate about broadcasting, major events and Fair play
  • Founder, Duco Events, SKY ARENA, and VADR Media
  • Promoted New Zealand's first PPV  boxing, music and football events
  • Founded and built Australasia's first always on esports TV studio and biggest esports tournament platform
  • 2018 NZ Marketing Magazine Media Visionary of the Year
  • 2009 NZ Marketing Magazine TV Event of the Decade
  • Founder and Life Member, New Zealand Esports Federation
    and Oceania Esports Council
Jamie Skella
Jamie Skella
Founder & Head of XP
Passionate about chess, esports, web3 and UX

  • Founding Partner, Polybit

  • Chief Product Officer, Mogul 

  • Head of UX , AFL and Tatts Group

  • Owner, GG EZ Bar [Esports Bar]

  • World Economic Forum Pioneer Technology Award Winner [Blockchain]

Curt Jones
Curt Jonen
Founder & Executive Producer
Broadcast and sports mad

  • Executive Producer
    Entain, Fox Sports, NRL Media

  • Chief of Staff - Fox Sports News

  • Sports Editor, TV3 New Zealand

  • Producer, ESPN USA

  • 20+ years experience Sports Media

Brenda Saveluc
Brenda Saveluc
General Consul
Australia's leading web3 commercial lawyer

  • Founder, Blackgold Legal

  • Expertise. ICO, NFT and STO regulation

  • Expertise,  Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency

  • Commercial and Corporate M&A

Joan Buc Prades
Joan Buch Prades
AI and Chess
Founder of Szuperchess and former pro chess player

  • Artificial Intelligence and Neuromarketing thought leader

  • Former competitive chess player

  • CEO & Founder, Decoditive

  • CEO & Founder, Szuperchess

Dimitri Darsch
Dimitri Darsch
Game Designer
Creative talent behind the Arcade Mode

  • Game Economy and Monetization Designer

  • Knight Watch iOS + iWatch Chess Game

  • Pyrojump, Battle Royale Tycoon, Eredan

  • RPG , Social & Collectible Card Game Design

Rodrigo Nascimento
Rodrigo Nascimento
XR developer, 3D artist and Ai
Pushing the tech boundaries of Ai & XR
Indy Khabra
Indy Khabra
Leading the embedded Livewire Advertising team at Checkmate

  • CEO and co-founder, Livewire

  • Campaign Asia 40 under 40

  • Dentsu Programmatic, ANZ Managing Director

  • Executive Director, Amplifi

Brad Manuel
Brad Manuel
Brand integration
Leading the embedded Livewire Sponsorship team at Checkmate

  • CEO and co-founder, Livewire

  • CEO/COO Misfit Gaming

  • Esports Lead, AFL Adelaide Crows

Anurag Khurana
Anurag Khurana
The godfather of gaming and esports in India

  • Founder & CEO , Newgen Gaming

  • Country Manager, Riot Games India

  • Head of Esports, Reliance Jio

  • CEO, Red Octane

Ken O'Shea
Ken O’Shea
Governor of the Community Treasury and numbers

  • Partner - Lockhart O'Shea Chartered Accountants

  • Chief Financial Officer, First Capital of Switzerland Limited, Dubai

  • Executive Director, Finance and Operations, Waqf Trust Services

  • Deputy CEO, Hamilton Trust Company, Bermuda


We've roped in some mates to accelerate speed chess
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Cloud and R&D Partner

Tencent Cloud, one of the world's leading cloud companies, is committed to creating innovative solutions to resolve real-world issues and enabling digital transformation for smart industries.
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Brand Integration

Livewrire represents Checkmate's online advertising and sponsorship assets to Agencies and Brands.
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Ai Anti-cheat

Szuperchess is the first real and effective solution to combat online cheating in Chess.  Billed as Zoom adapted to Chess tournaments, its innovative AI and computer vision-based approach to cheating utilises a player's webcam to monitor match integrity.

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Executive Producer

VADR produces and promotes new media, sports and entertainment. VADR has been at the forefront of developing content for free-to-air, cable, pay-per-view and online platforms since 2005.

Fair play partners

Good governance requires the right oversight
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Asian Chess Federation

The Asian Chess Federation, commonly known by the acronym ACF, is the international governing body of chess across the Asian Continent. Its membership comprises of 53 national associations across Asia, the Middle East and Oceania.
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Arab Esports Federation

Founded in 2017 to emulate the Arab Olympic Federation, the Arab Esport Federation consists of 18 countries across the Middle East and Gulf countries.
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Esports Integrity Commission

ESIC is the guardian of the integrity of esports takes responsibility for disruption, prevention, investigation and prosecution of all forms of cheating.

Global mates

We proud to have a diverse global team and network of mates

Commercial representation
Australia | China | Germany & DASH | India | Japan | United Kingdom |  New Zealand | Philippines | Singapore | Thailand | United Arab Emirates | USA

Development and Management
Australia | Brazil | China | India | France | Poland | New Zealand | Philippines | Spain | United Arab Emirates

Asia Chess Federation
Afghanistan | Australia | Bahrain | Bangladesh | Bhutan | Brunei Darussalam | Cambodia |China | Chinese Taipei |  Fiji | Guam Hong Kong |China | India | Indonesia | Iran | Iraq | Japan| Jordan | Kazakhstan | Kuwait | Kyrgyzstan Laos | Lebanon | Macau, China |Malaysia | Maldives | Mongolia | Myanmar Nauru | Nepal | New Zealand | Oman | Pakistan | Palau | Palestine | Papua New Guinea | Philippines | Qatar | Russia | Saudi Arabia | Singapore | Saudi Arabia | Solomon Islands | South Korea | Sri Lanka | Syria Tajikistan | Thailand | Timor-Leste | Turkmenistan |United Arab Emirates | Uzbekistan | Vietnam | Yemen

Arab Esports Federation
Algeria | Bahrain | Egypt, | Jordan | Lebanon | Morocco | Oman | Saudi Arabia | Libya | Tunisia | United Arab Emirates | GCC countries | Djbouti | Somalia, | Morocco | Iraq | Palestinian territories | Lebanon | Jordan | Egypt | Libya | Tunisia | Algeria, Mauritania | Yemen | Syria | Sudan | Comoros islands