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18:12 Who are the Seconds in the Candidates

Daniel Weil, Renown Architect, on the World Chess Set Design
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2022 FIDE Grand Prix Series Announced
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2022 FIDE Grand Prix Series AnnouncedTwo tickets to the FIDE Candidates Tournament will be decided in a tightly-packed series organized by World Chess Opening ceremony of the 2019 FIDE Grand Prix organized by World Chess in Moscow FIDE and World Chess are pleased to announce the 2022 Grand Prix Series that will take place in February — April of 2022 and will consist of three tournaments. The events will take place in one city — a deviation from the typical system where Grand Prix events are hosted in different cities around the world, but a move that will make it easier for the chess players to plan their travel schedule amid the pandemic-related travel and visa restrictions. The Series will feature 24 players who will compete in two out of three events. Each event will consist of a group stage and then a knock-out. In the group stage, each group will play a round-robin six-round tournament. The system has been improved to reflect the chess community’s feedback regarding the number of classic games: now there are six classic games in the first stage of each event. This further decreases random results and ensures that the players who consistently perform well move to the next stage. The prize fund for each event is EUR150,000 — a EUR20,000 increase from 2019. The qualification criteria to the Series has also been revamped to increase the number of players who are selected by events results — 16 out of 24 players qualify for their performance in the World Cup and Grand Swiss. The rest is selected by rating, and two are nominated by FIDE and World Chess respectively. The events are packed tightly into the first half of 2022 to allow ample time for the Candidates Tournament which is expected to be held in 2022 and a possibility to hold the FIDE Championship Match in the end of 2022 or beginning of 2023, restoring the FIDE Calendar that shifted due to the pandemic. Arkady Dvorkovich, FIDE President, says: “While we are anxiously waiting for the outcome of the 2021 Match between Magnus Carlsen and Yan Nepomniachtchi, we are looking forward to the next cycle and new players qualifying to beat the World Champion, whoever he might be”. The Series is organized by World Chess, FIDE commercial partner and official broadcaster. Ilya Merenzon, World Chess CEO, says: “We are currently on the lookout for the best possible city to hold the Series and are so excited to work with the chess fans and ask their opinion of the next chess capital. In the next week, we’ll issue a global call for suggestions and will talk to the chess luminaries and fans around the world to choose this special city”. Correction: 12 players are selected based on their performance in the Word Cup and Grand Swiss, and 10 player qualify by rating. 2 players are nominated by FIDE and World Chess. Full regulations are available on FIDE website.
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FIDE Online Arena Now Has an iOS App. Hmmm
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FIDE Online Arena Now Has an iOS App. HmmmFIDE Online Arena, the official chess gaming platform, released a native iOS app which was met with hmmms because it didn’t happen earlier. After all, it’s 2021, most of the gaming is mobile-first, and the app should have been released ages ago. “Yes, it’s even cringeworthy to announce it now, — says Ilya Merenzon, CEO of World Chess, the company that manages FIDE Online Arena. ‘We apologize sincerely to the users for not releasing it a decade ago. Of course, in the next few months, we will be adding some cool features to the app that became possible only recently with the new iOS, but still — if you wanted to play for the officially-recognized rating on your mobile device, you should have been able to do it earlier. However, we are happy to join a selection of other excellent chess apps that are available in the App Store.‘ The mobile version of the platform, new.arena.myfide.net, is also optimized for mobile users, including both iOS and Android devices. Follow this link to download the app.
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Vladimir Kramnik at the Armageddon Studio
Vladimir Kramnik at the Armageddon Studio
Vladimir Kramnik at the Armageddon StudioLast year, World Chess and Match TV, the leading Russian sports TV channel, premiered “Armageddon”, a chess competition designed specifically for broadcasting on live television. The tournament, filmed is a special pavilion, was different from typical chess events — it was visually engaging, lightning-fast, and featured novelties like heart beat metrics. The event was a prime-time hit. The series will resume next year, and we are happy to give you the insider view of the first time Vladimir Kramnik, one of the participants of the series, visited the playing arena.
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Rustam Kasimdzhanov Posts a Chess Problem
Rustam Kasimdzhanov Posts a Chess Problem
Rustam Kasimdzhanov Posts a Chess ProblemRustam Kasimdzhanov, a former FIDE World Champion himself, is one of the most famous chess coaches — he was on Vishy Anand’s side when he was #1 in the world, and was Fabiano Caruana’s second during Fabi’s bid for the title in 2018. Rustam posted a chess problem during his Masterclass with World Chess. Listen to the problem and share your response in the comments section. Masterclass is a series of seminars for World Chess subscribers.
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Clasp Your Hands and Raise an Eyebrow
Clasp Your Hands and Raise an Eyebrow
Clasp Your Hands and Raise an EyebrowAnya Taylor-Joy, the star of The Queen’s Gambit, shared her opinion on how to be the chess prodigy in her inaugural appearance on Saturday Night Live. Apparently, you simply need to coast your hands and raise an eyebrow.
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First Ever Chess-Focused Sports Agency Launched
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First Ever Chess-Focused Sports Agency LaunchedWorld Chess, the company behind the game-changing rise in the popularity of chess and the organizer of the recent Chess Championship Matches in New York and London, launches a chess-focused sports marketing agency. It’s the world’s first sports agency focused exclusively on chess. The agency, Chess and Company, represents top chess talent and events, and aims to help brands across transport, technology, retail, hospitality and luxury sectors, to connect with chess in a way that has a long-lasting effect on the sport and to bring 600 million chess players closer to the brands’ offerings. The services are delivered by the team that was responsible for staging the most successful events and activations in the sport, and done with the sharp and edgy sensibility and deep understanding of the market from both chess and clients’ side. Peter Thiel, the founder of PayPal, is making the first move at the World Chess Championship in New York Nadia Panteleeva, who signed the biggest sponsorship deals in chess, including Kaspersky, PhosAgro, Algorand, as a head of partnership for World Chess, will lead the new agency. “Dozens of brands we spoke with were looking for ways to add chess to their marketing and social responsibility mix”, — says Panteleeva. “It’s a perfect time for a specialized team that is equally at home working with chess stars, streamers, events, and inspiring brands to create meaningful experiences with the sport”. Chess and Company will operate from London and Moscow and will focus on developing and leveraging partnerships with professional chess players, streamers, and top-circuit chess events and brand integrations. In 2021 and 2022, the agency will work with brands that will be present at the FIDE World Chess Championship Matches, Grand Prix Series, the World Chess Armageddon Series as well as top national events and special projects. View from the playing venue of the 2017 Candidates Tournament in Berlin “Number of people who play chess is bigger than the number of people who play tennis and golf combined”, — adds Ilya Merenzon, CEO of World Chess. “But until now it has been largely ignored by professional marketers. It requires a deep understanding of the industry, established relationships, and a sense of humor — something that helped World Chess to make the sport popular and to bring it to the front pages, not only of the sports trades, but of business and design media. How often one gets a chess logo short-listed by the Cannes Festival?I”, — adds Merenzon. For more information about the agency, please visit http://chessandcompany.com/.
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Top Players from FIDE Online Arena Included in 2700Chess Live Ratings
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Top Players from FIDE Online Arena Included in 2700Chess Live Ratings Front page of 2700chess 2700chess.com, an influential website that calculates and publishes chess players’ live ratings, will publish live ratings from FIDE Online Arena, the official FIDE gaming platform. Ratings will be updated hourly and will include the top 100 players from the Arena. The step is important for the sport, because it recognizes the value of online chess, which especially grew during the pandemic. FIDE Online Arena accords online ratings recognized by FIDE and provides a professional playing environment with rigorous fair play rules and KYC requirements — in order to play for the official FOA rating points, a player must complete the same KYC procedure that is required for other-the-board play. 2700chess added the Online tab to their main page and includes the player’s information and link to their FIDE and Arena profiles. The collaboration between the Arena and 2700chess was announced in a tweet: https://twitter.com/2700chess/status/1386729444816166918
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Looking Back to The Most Talked About Chess Logo Ever
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Looking Back to The Most Talked About Chess Logo Ever The controversial logo that shook the chess world The 2018 World Chess Championship found itself at the center of a heated discussion about design, sex and LGBT culture. It was covered by all major media outlets, including an above-the-fold front page feature by the Financial Times. The media called it one of the most important sporting events of the year. One of the key issues in the discussion was the provocative logo that featured two figures playing chess in a way that, some say, resembled a scene from Kama Sutra. The organizers and the sport had taken a risk by going outside its comfort zone and the message was amplified by the media, which loved the idea that the most conservative sport in the world was using such provocative visual language. In chess, the consumers are also players, and the campaign allowed them to finally be associated with something considered cool. The logo went much further than anticipated, getting the Cannes Lions award and creating a whole range of merchandise that is still popular. The event itself was a visual experience for the spectators and the players alike. The exterior and interior of the College in Holborn, the hosting venue, was decorated with key visual patterns; this was also applied to the costumes of the actors who performed in the opening ceremony at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The playful illustrations and design of the online broadcasting platform made watching the difficult game easy. The design was visible outside of the playing venue and inside. Lettering and color patterns made the event stand out. Reporters before the first move in the final game of the 2018 World Chess Championship London hosted the Match for the first time in decades, and Londoners were aware that something is happening in their city. Entrance to the playing venue in Holborn Visitors were treated with branded merchandise so they felt connected to the event. Disposable cups at the venue
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The Queen’s Gambit For Chess Is the Same As Rocky for Boxing
The Queen’s Gambit For Chess Is the Same As Rocky for Boxing
The Queen’s Gambit For Chess Is the Same As Rocky for BoxingIn his interview with the Live Breakdown Show, Ilya Merenzon, the CEO of World Chess, discussed the impact that The Queen’s Gambit had on chess.
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Watching Chess The Right Way — In The Roaring Crowd
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Watching Chess The Right Way — In The Roaring CrowdRecently, most sporting events had few or no fans in attendance because of the pandemic — no roaring crowds and cheering spectators. But for chess this was true even before the pandemic — you can’t make a sound while sitting in a darkened hall for hours, following the game and trying to guess the next move. World Chess Club Moscow, the world’s trendiest chess club and bar, has reinvented the chess watching experience for the Candidates Tournament this spring, making it feel like a sport again (which it surely is). For 9 nights straight, there was cheering, roaring, drinking, move-guessing, and more cheering when it became clear that a Russian Grandmaster is winning the tournament and will have a chance to become a world champion. Guests were playing chess and followed the live broadcast from Yekaterinburg. The foam finger is the integral part of the sports experience, so the Candidates Tournament just had to have it. Alexandra Galkova (Prytek alumni) and Nadia Panteleeva (World Chess) both holding the foam fingers for Nepo, who eventually won the tournament. Some explaining of a complicated position. WCCM guests used the same official chess sets as the participants of the Candidates Tournament. Bartenders served drinks made with Lindores Abbey base.
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Bruce Pandolfini: Nepo Might Win the Match
Bruce Pandolfini: Nepo Might Win the Match
Bruce Pandolfini: Nepo Might Win the MatchBruce Pandolfini is the world’s most experienced chess coach and incidentally the man who came up with the title for ‘The Queen’s Gambit’, the book that was repurposed into the eponymous Netflix Series. When Pandolfini appeared in the Breakdown Live Studio by World Chess to discuss the Candidates Tournament, he shared his take on the upcoming Championship Match: “It’s hard to stay at the top for so long – even for a brilliant mind like Carlsen”. Magnus Carlsen will have to defend his title against Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi — a formidable opponent, according to Carlsen.
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A Look Back at How Another Russian Became The Challenger (a Film)
A Look Back at How Another Russian Became The Challenger (a Film)
A Look Back at How Another Russian Became The Challenger (a Film)Back in 2016, Sergey Karjakin, the Russian grandmaster, won the Candidates Tournament and earned the right to challenge Magnus Carlsen. Karjakin lost the match on tie-breaks but became one of the most recognized players in the sport. We made a film about the Candidates Tournament — you can watch it now to look at what it was like.
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Looking Back at the Recent Space Chess Game
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Looking Back at the Recent Space Chess Game Sergey Karjakin is playing against the cosmonauts On June 9 of 2020, the second ever chess match between Space and Earth took place in the main hall of the Moscow Museum of Cosmonautics. The event has been co-organized by the Moscow Museum of Cosmonautics, Roscosmos, the Russian State Corporation, the Chess Federation of Russia, and the social network VKontakte. The game took place online on FIDE Online Arena. The match featured pilot-cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin, and test-cosmonaut Ivan Vagner, who delivered the battle from aboard the International Space Station. Representing team Earth was Sergey Karjakin – a rapid and blitz world champion, and two-time winner of the world team championships as part of the Russian team. He played the game in the Moscow Museum of Cosmonautics. The match was timed precisely to the half-century anniversary of the first Space to Earth game of chess played on June 9, 1970. Not unlike 50 years ago, the first move advantage belonged to the space crew. The game ended in a draw. The VKontakte platform gathered more than 800,000 people to watch the match broadcast. Mr. Ivanishin has noted that it was a great honor for cosmonauts to hold their ground against a grandmaster. Sergey Karjakin has shared his impressions of the game: “In this game, my emotions ran higher than in any game played by me in the world championship match. This is because when you play against team Space, you have no idea what to expect. The game was very interesting and sharp, and, at the same time, quite a correct one in terms of chess content. I do not think the opponents have made any mistakes; therefore, a draw is a natural outcome. A human brain seems to function extremely well in space. They say, space brings people together. As we have seen today, chess can indeed help people of various professions reach each other even across space. Therefore, let us organize such matches more frequently than on a once-per-50-year basis. A well-known TV presenter and sports commentator Dmitry Guberniev and head of the Museum’s press service Daria Chudnaya were hosts of the program. Greetings were sent by the Minister of Sports of the Russian Federation Oleg Matytsin, Director General of the Roscosmos State Corporation Dmitry Rogozin, and the Museum of Cosmonautics Director Natalya Artyukhina. A video was shown during the stream with a story about the legendary Space Chess set and an interview with the many-time world champion Anatoly Karpov. You can watch the match commented in the English language on the YouTube channels of Roscosmos and FIDE. The anniversary match has become the culmination of celebrations dedicated to the legendary chess game.
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Candidates Breakdown Round 11
Candidates Breakdown Round 11
Candidates Breakdown Round 11Boris Gelfand joins the Breakdown studio to discuss Round 11 of the Candidates tournament.
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Candidates Round 8 — Nepo at the top
Candidates Round 8 — Nepo at the top
Candidates Round 8 — Nepo at the topWhat a start for the Candidates’ resume with Caruana and Alekseenko scoring after several hours and Nepomniachtchi reaching the top as a sole leader with 5 points. Photo by Lennart Ootes/FIDE Starting with the most interesting game of the day, Fabiano Caruana was clearly very well prepared and won with a remarkable style. Fabi took himself in a very dangerous position, with less material, but enough compensation to achieve an amazing win, and also entertain the whole chess community! Another surprise of Round 8 was Alekseenko’s win in a position that could turn into an equal rook endgame, but Grischuk preferred to keep his extra material and give Kirill a solid counterplay. Far less exciting was the game between the two Chinese grandmasters, Wang Hao and Ding Liren, who made a draw in less than two hours. Lastly, Anish Giri decided to play the Sveshnikov system against Ian Nepomniachtchi, which also ended in a draw after some inaccuracies from the White’s side. Watch WGM Dina Belenkaya, GM Ernesto Inarkiev, and GM Sergey Karjakin comment on the R8 games: Standings after the 8th round: # Player Position Rating 1 Ian Nepomniachtchi 5 2774 2 Fabiano Caruana 4½ 2842 3 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 4½ 2767 4 Anish Giri 4 2763 5 Hao Wang 4 2762 6 Kirill Alekseenko 3½ 2698 7 Alexander Grischuk 3½ 2777 8 Ding Liren 3 2805 Pairings for the 9th round: Kirill Alekseenko – Fabiano Caruana Alexander Grischuk – Ian Nepomniachtchi Anish Giri – Wang Hao Ding Liren – Maxime Vachier-Lagrave Join our LIVE breakdown studio with WGM Dina Belenkaya, GM Ernesto Inarkiev, and their amazing guests every day at 5 PM GMT, on Youtube and Facebook. ► Youtube and Facebook ► Improve your chess by joining our Masterclass Series 💥 Get now 10% off the monthly subscription with the code GELFAND10 for Boris Gelfand’s Masterclass on how to switch to counter-attack ► Find the most designable chess products on our shop ► Play chess in our Arena Let’s connect! ► Subscribe to our channel ► Like us on Facebook ► Follow us on Twitter ► Follow us on Instagram
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Candidates Breakdown Live Studio — Day 1
Candidates Breakdown Live Studio — Day 1
Candidates Breakdown Live Studio — Day 1The live breakdown of the first day of the Candidates Watch the live studio breakdown of the first day of the FIDE Candidates Tournament by GM Ernest Inarkiev and WGM and streamer Dina Belenkaya. Joined by the special guest Sergey Karjakin, the hosts break down the round’s games and interesting moments. The show is produced by RT and World Chess. The show will run daily at 6PM London time during the Candidates Tournament.
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Chess, the Musical, Opens in Moscow
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Chess, the Musical, Opens in MoscowCHESS, the legendary production about a confrontation between Soviet and American chess masters for the world chess crown, set against the backdrop of the Cold War, has finally made it to the Russian audience. This is possibly the only theatre production of such a scale in the world at the moment. On October 17, the CHESS Grand Opening night in Moscow’s MDM Theatre was a rare red-carpet star-studded event where the politicians, business luminaries, and socialites mixed with the chess greats. After all, Russia is a country where chess is considered one of the most important sports. The world premiere of CHESS was held in 1986 at London’s West End. Created by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus of ABBA and Sir Tim Rice («Emmy», «Grammy», «Oscar» and «Tony»-awarded playwright) CHESS has since been staged all around the globe. Four great chess masters: Boris Spassky, Bobby Fischer, Victor Korchnoy, and first and foremost – the world champion Anatoly Karpov, became prototypes for the two main characters. Karpov was present at the Opening Gala, smiling and signing autographs. Sir Tim Rice, creator, says: «I just wanted to say, how incredibly grateful and excited I am, we all are, by the fact that CHESS is going to be done for the first time professionally, probably in any form by any people in Russia. It is going to be a terrific show! I’ve seen the arrangements, I’ve talked with the people working on the show. I know it’s going to be a great performance. I’m sure the show will be around for quite a long time in Russia. I will definitely get out there before too long. All I can say at the moment is, I’m very very grateful to you all, I’m very very thankful, that we’re in such good hands. Good luck to one and all». Dmitry Bogachev, producer, CEO of Broadway Moscow Theatre Company, says: «CHESS, an acknowledged theatrical phenomenon, has taken on a renewed relevance these days. Behind the scenes of great victories and bitter defeats in any stand-off, there are always real people. Each with a complicated destiny, living out their emotions and acting at the limit of their abilities. Starting on October 17, this unique production will be presented at the MDM Theatre every night throughout the entire theatre season. From the musical theatre point of view, there is absolutely nothing as great, monumental, and meaningful as CHESS. When two years ago after many years of hesitation I took on this material, I promised myself to create an interesting, spectacular, and emotional production, worthy of its magnificent music, and to carry the production process through, so that after 35 years Russian audience could finally experience this glorious musical! We all have the feeling of euphoria about what we are creating, and that’s why we don’t feel neither fatigue nor fear». The Russian production team went further than anyone else who staged CHESS. They partnered with the official chess gaming platform, FIDE Online Arena, and invited everyone who bought tickets to the show to play official tournaments online to feel what it’s like to be a professional chess player. Ilya Merenzon, CEO of World Chess, the gaming platform, says: “The show is amazing, and we believe that by visiting CHESS, spectators not only have a wonderful experience but also stay with chess for decades”. The new unique concept of the Russian original production is created by top Russia’s creative team, helmed by Director Evgeny Pisarev, the Artistic Director of Moscow Pushkin Drama Theatre (also known for his productions at the Bolshoi Theatre, Chekhov’s Moscow Art Theatre) with Musical Director John Rigby (CHESS at ENO, School of Rock, An American in Paris, Jesus Christ Superstar World Arena Tour) and the Producer Dmitry Bogachev (Broadway’s Anastasia, The Phantom of The Opera (Moscow), MAMMA MIA! and Chicago (Moscow and S-Petersburg) and many other musicals in Russia).
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The Check Weekly: Second Edition
The Check Weekly: Second Edition
The Check Weekly: Second EditionWe are pleased to share with you the new episode of ‘The Check Weekly’. Our second program features this week’s important news, including the Online Olympiad controversy, the Spanish Championship, Nakamura’s sign up by TSM, “Critical Thinking”, and of course the Candidates Tournament, which might actually happen this year, if we are lucky.
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The Best Plastic Chess Set Ever Designed
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The Best Plastic Chess Set Ever Designed The Official Plastic Academy Set Just as it has changed the way we work and socialize, the pandemic has likely made you change the way we play chess. You, just like us, probably ditched the open tournaments and club events (even if they are happening in your area) for some online chess action. With more time at home, you are possibly playing chess a bit more than before, and using your chessboard to set up positions to be able to analyze them in 3D. If you don’t have a chess set at home, there are lots of options out there, so we aimed to create the ultimate chessboard and set for home and club use that should cover all types of chess play. The classic official World Chess Championship set design Back in 2013, noted architect and Pentagram partner Daniel Weil designed the World Chess chess pieces that became the standard for the world chess championship cycle events and have been exclusively used in the Championship cycle ever since. World champions Magnus Carlsen and Vladimir Kramnik gave advice and feedback to Weil who worked through hundreds of prototypes and designed the set that is both ergonomically perfect and visually stunning. The sets carved by hand from ebonized boxwood and rosewood are produced in limited quantity for top events and exclusive retail partners. They cost over $400 per unit — a fair price for a custom-made limited edition luxury item that is likely to stay in the family for generations. The new set that is called ‘Academy’ is made from high-quality plastic, is weighted, and repeats the iconic World Chess Championship set design. But it costs just a fraction of the original set — only $32. Size In Daniel Weil’s Pentagram studio in London’s Notting Hill, there are hundreds of chess prototypes of chess pieces, all done in the search of a perfect size. It has to feel substantial, important, and noticeable. It has to dominate the table, but on the other hand, it has to be subtle, and portable, and go well with smaller tables. The King height of the Academy World chess set is 86mm, perfect for tournament play but also good for a coffee shop table. The chessboard that comes with the set is a high-quality laminated foldable board with a classic square size of 50mm. The board stays flat on the surface and has been tested to hold pieces well. Color palette Weil used the color palette that makes the chess set a conversation piece. Gray and white chessboard and pieces have a warm shade: black has a slight brown tone (RAL8002) and white has a very slight gray tone (RAL9002). The pieces feel special. Storage box The box with a magnetic latch comfortably stores the pieces and the foldable board. Designed by Shuka, the firm that is behind the famous 2018 World Chess Championship logo, the box is small enough to easily fit in your overnight bag, but will also look amazing on your bookshelf or on the tabletop. The set is only available for pre-order in the World Chess shop, and come Christmas, it will be available in major retailers outlets. It’s also likely to be used in some of the bigger chess events around the world.