World Chess Championship unveils risque logo

The organisers of the World Chess Championships, however, appear to think otherwise.

For the championship’s 2018 match, the organisation has attempted to embody the adventurous positions, imaginative progression of moves and intense one-on-one concentration that are the hallmarks of success in chess.

And to make the point they have chosen an upfront logo, depicting a pair of chess players whose tangled limbs suggest an interest in something other than a mentally taxing board game.

Described as “controversial and trendy”, it will be the public symbol of the championship, which takes place in London in November 2018.

But it has provoked outrage among players and followers of the game, has been described as a “chess kama sutra” and been heavily criticised by chess champion Susan Polgar, who questioned whether it was an “appropriate logo to promote to kids”.

More than 50% of the world chess playing population are kids. They are also the biggest purchasing block by a HUGE margin, many times more than adults. Do you think that logo can be marketable in schools?

— Susan Polgar (@SusanPolgar) 19 December 2017

She later urged World Chess to scrap the logo in favour of something “classy, attractive, clever, marketable” and “something the entire global chess community can be proud of”.

Other observers were simply confused by the logo, commenting that it appeared to be an uncomfortable position in which to play chess.

It was also pointed out that the board the amorous competitors are using has only six squares, compared to the eight needed in an actual chess game.

Official logos released for the 2018 World Chess Championships. No, this is not a joke. #ChessIsSexy#YouHadOneJobhttps://t.co/OuOaCdMqhFpic.twitter.com/vTXH5Oc2Jd

— David Smerdon (@dsmerdon) 19 December 2017

In their announcement of the branding World Chess said the logo, which was designed by Russian agency Shuka design, had been the product of a year of work.

“We rarely stop to think about the brand of the World Chess Championship Match, because we are more interested in the players and the drama of the games,” it said.

“But the match, the ultimate event that defines who is the smartest person on the planet, has much wider appeal than chess professionals. It affects politics, business, and, of course, design.”

It is also far from the first launch to attract criticism for risque branding. Can you identify the following brand logos – and spot why they provoked controversy?

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