Telechess was an enterprise started in 1990 by Robert Hamilton and Maxim Dlugy. Maxim was one of the best players in the world and the youngest President in the history of the United States Chess Federation.
The concept of Telechess was quite straightforward. In the pre-Internet age there were thousands of players and journalists who wanted information about leading international events as they were happening who couldn’t obtain the information from conventional media.
Robert and Max purchased several 1-900 phone lines, laid out a calendar of events to cover each year, and made sure they had information providers at all major events throughout the world. During every coverage day, information would come in and be converted to news reports that were placed on the 1-900 lines.
Customers to the Telechess service had calls to the 1-900 lines added to their monthly bills, and at its peak Telechess was receiving several thousand calls a day. After a successful multi-year run, the Internet evolved to the point where the information being offered by Telechess could be obtained online for free.