Russian design studio Shuka have unveiled a sexy new logo for the World Chess Championship — and it’s already set hearts racing.
The new visual, which shows two players intertwined over a chess board, has been likened to a pose from the Karma Sutra. A second, less-controversial design has also been released, showing hands posed above the board.
Shuka’s creative directors, Ivan Vasin and Ivan Velichenko, say they’re glad that the design has provoked strong reactions. “We’re trying to illustrate that chess isn’t just about the mind — it’s about feeling,” the pair told the Afisha Daily news site. “Chess is the epitome of a non-contact sport, but during a championship match, you can feel the crescendo of physical tension in the room.
The team also said that the logo had been received more positively in the West than in their native Russia. “The Western media took it with the irony that we intended, with a lot of humor and wordplay [in their articles]. The Russians took it too literally,” they said.
The visuals will be used during the World Chess Championship in London next year, when reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen will take on a new challenger.
World Chess, who will be hosting the championship match, say that the design is “controversial and trendy, just like the host city”.
A spokesperson said that the group had been working with artists and designers for over a year to achieve the perfect look.
Shuka previously designed the visuals for the 2016 World Chess Championship in New York. Their slightly less controversial design took its inspiration from the city’s streets, transforming key New York landmarks into Cubist-inspired graphics.