By Leon Watson
When Bobby Fischer was crowned king of chess in 1972 fans could only watch through a fuzzy security camera.
At 2-0 down, the American genius, notoriously paranoid, complained about noise TV crews were making and insisted his match with the Soviet Boris Spassky was moved to the privacy of a dingy basement.
Fischer went on play some of the most sublime chess ever seen - albeit on CCTV. Today's chess king is a very different animal, however.
Magnus Carlsen, the Norweigan heart-throb dubbed the "Justin Bieber of chess", has agreed to take on his title challenger in the full glare of 360 virtual reality, it was revealed on Monday.
With Liv Tyler in 2011, during New York Fashion Week - Credit : Reuters
As Carlsen and the Russian Sergey Karjakin, 26, go head-to-head in November, organisers say the coverage will be up close and personal like never before allowing viewers to truly soak up the atmosphere.
Like the Fischer match at the height of the Cold War, there will be an East/West dimension to it - although allegations of KGB interference are unlikely.
Bobby Fischer in 1972 - Credit: Alamy
Carlsen is the basketball-playing poster boy for Western chess who has modelled for a fashion label, been named one of Cosmopolitan's sexiest men and given interviews to teen girl magazines.
Crimea-born Karjakin, meanwhile, is a deeply-patriotic darling of Vladimir Putin who is remembered for cheering on the Russian invasion of his homeland and wearing a T-shirt with his President's face on.
Fide, the game's world governing body, will not be drawn on politics ahead of the long-awaited showdown in downtown New York.
Instead they are hoping their surprising innovation will help catapult the game into the big league of international sport finance.
Carlsen, the highest ranked player in chess history, is all for it.
Russian Grandmaster Sergei Karjakin with his wife - Credit: Oleg Nikishin / Getty Images
"In my opinion, chess has the potential to reach and engage a much broader audience than what we see today," the 25-year-old said.
"To succeed with this, innovation, and most of all quality in the production and transmission, are key elements.”
Virtual reality chess as seen on a smartphone - Credit: World Chess
The broadcast is being provided by World Chess by Agon, Fide's commercial arm, which claims VR is a revolution for the game.
"Everything we are doing is designed to enable viewers to get into the minds of the players," Ilya Merenzon, chief executive of World Chess said.
"This is the first Chess World Championship for the smartphone generation."
The Fulton Market Building in New York - Credit: World Chess
"We are proud to announce that chess, one of the oldest sports in the world, is creating a global first: a totally new and immersive way of watching a contest that will captivate hundreds of millions of new and existing fans."
Filming in VR using cameras covering multiple angles will mean every cough, spit and pick of the nose will be broadcast.
Organisers have also promised the match, available to view on WorldChess.com, will include commentary in multiple languages, with guest appearances from celebrity chess fans.
There will also be a chess analysis engine so viewers can gain an insight into the players’ strategic decisions, as well as a host of other features.
Fans had questioned whether the match would take place at all, with a venue not confirmed until last month and no big-name sponsors secured.
However, the Telegraph understands Fide are about to announce the backing of an international equity firm that handles the pensions of three million Russians, and more sponsors will follow.
Mr Merenzon added: "We are investing into the 360 degree broadcast because we believe that it is a major commercial opportunity for a sport which has required additional revenue streams to fulfill its global potential.
"The millions of dollars in extra revenue that our new model will bring into the game will be re-invested in player prize money, events in the World Chess Championship cycle and in grass roots initiatives.
"But we also want to ensure that as many people as possible can follow the Match and recognise that not everyone is prepared to pay to follow the Championship Match - that’s why we will offer a free broadcast as well."
The company providing the VR broadcast is Livestream, the leading provider of live video services.
A spokesman for Livestream said: "We are excited to be the streaming partner for the World Chess Championship at a time when the broadcast and overall presentation of the game is being transformed."