Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen Flips the Board for New UNESCO Equality Campaign

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BBDO Düsseldorf helps celebrate International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen Flips the Board for New UNESCO Equality Campaign
Four-time Chess World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, and his rival, Anish Giri, flipped the board and turned the game upside down by breaking a key rule: white moves first.

So, on this special day, black pieces make the first move.

They have made it clear, through their symbolic move, that nobody should have an advantage or disadvantage because of colour. The campaign has been created with support of UNESCO’S International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities – ICCAR.

"We cannot change the rules of chess permanently, but we flipped the board for one game to use chess to bring a new perspective to the discussion about equality," says the Norwegian chess World Champion Magnus Carlsen.

Carlsen, who also creates his own chess apps through the company Play Magnus, has also temporarily changed the rules in the ‘Play Magnus’ app to show his support for the campaign. The limited-time update will allow players to decide for themselves which colour they want to start the game with. In addition, users of the Magnus Trainer app will be able to play through ‘The Immortal Game’ -– a famous game from back in 1851 which also started with black moving first.

Additionally, the chess community is supporting the message of equality. The website is hosting a black to start “Banter Blitz Marathon,” in which chess grandmasters play with the temporary change of rule against non-professionals on the site.

The BBDO campaign, for the first time in history, features two chess grandmasters breaking a rule in modern chess – creating amplification tools such as a campaign hub hosted in, social media videos and other pieces.

With the breaking of a single, but decisive, rule, as well as the hashtag #MoveForEquality, the campaign not only writes a new chapter in chess history, but sends a strong message to both chess lovers and the rest of the world on an international day against racism. The accompanying film, as well as further information and material, can be found at
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Advertiser: UNESCO (International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities – ICCAR)

Post Production / VFX

Post Production Company: Fuze Image

Creative Director: Daniel Klock and Marcio Bueno

Head of Post Production: Cauê Andrade

3D Generalists: Leandro Mendonça


Sound Company: DaHouse Audio


PR: Stefan Rybkowski (Senior), Fabienne Guetzkow (Junior) @ Emanate

Creative Agency

Creative Agency: BBDO Germany

Chief Creative Officer: Till Diestel

Creative Director: Rod Henriques and Michael Plückhahn

Creative Managing Director: Kristoffer Heilemann

Managing Director: Cornelius Kölblin

Senior Art Director: Ailton Henriques

Senior Copywriter: Guilherme Nesti

Junior Art Director: Anina Waesche

Junior Copywriter: Henrik van Laak

Client Service Director: Simon Stitzl

Account Executive: Jan Kronies (Digital)

Head of Strategic Planning: Ralf Sieke

Creative Technologist: Martin Boeing-Messing

Production Company

Production Company: Craftwork

Camera Team: DaHouse Audio

Camera Operators: Jorgen Werner, Lars Pettersen (Assistant)

Chief Technician: Fabian Lopez


Music Company: DaHouse Audio

Genres: People

Categories: Social, Corporate, Social and PSAs

BBDO Group Germany, 1 year ago