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World Chess’ Armageddon Series announces Europe and Africa Week

World Chess Plc (LSE: CHSS), a leading chess organisation seeking to promote the mass market appeal of chess globally through the commercial offering of different chess-related activities, continues its Armageddon Championship Series with Europe and Africa week. Kickstarting on June 12, the high-stakes event will follow the same dramatic format and immense time pressure constraints as the previous Armageddon events.

World Chess launched the Armageddon Championship in March 2023, bringing a fresh new twist to this traditional and timeless game. The series has daily matches consisting of two blitz games (three minutes plus a two-second move increment) and, if necessary, an Armageddon game (five minutes for White, four for Black). So far, the championship has hosted the Americas, Asia and Oceania and Women’s Week. The Europe and Africa week will be the penultimate leg of the series before the Grand Finale which will be streamed on international television in September.

The start of the tournament will feature eight players from Europe & Africa region, including Michael Adams from England. Michael became a chess grandmaster at seventeen, is a seven-time British Chess Champion and holds the highest achieved chess player rating of anyone in England.

In addition to this, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), Richard Rapport (Romania), Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Poland), Jorden van Foreest (Netherlands), Vincent Keymer (Germany), as well as Matthias Bluebaum (Germany) and Alexander Donchenko (Germany), both of whom successfully qualified online, will also be competing. This collection of Individuals will battle it out in a double-elimination format, with daily matches consisting of two blitz games with the potential for an additional Armageddon game if a victory does not emerge.

The winner and runner-up will join an exciting line-up of finalists in the Grand Finale to be held at World Chess’ newly opened Chess Club in Berlin, where they will compete for the total prize of €200,000. The tournament will follow a dramatic format, with the players’ real-time heartbeat and calories burnt displayed alongside immense time controls and breakneck moves all adding to the excitement.

The Armageddon series is being broadcast on 17 television channels worldwide, as well as World Chess’ official YouTube channel, with expert commentary and analysis provided by Grandmaster Simon Williams and International Master Jovanka Houska every day at 19:00 CEST.

Ilya Merenzon, Chief Executive Officer of World Chess, said: “It has been fantastic to watch the global accumulation of chess players come together to compete in the Armageddon series. As we now head towards the Grand Finale it has been a real joy to watch the fast-paced matches between chess players of different experiences, playing styles and nationalities.

‘The series has created an atmosphere of suspense and excitement and highlighted the benefits of embracing innovative formats such as Armageddon, enabling top-level chess to entice a broader audience and ignite greater passion amongst fans.

‘We offer our best wishes to all the players and are excited to get Europe and Africa Week of the Armageddon Championship underway.’

Official opening of World Chess Club Berlin

World Chess Plc (LSE: CHSS), a leading chess organisation seeking to promote the mass market appeal of chess globally through the commercial offering of different chess-related activities, is pleased to announce that World Chess Club Berlin (the “Club”) has now officially opened.

Visitors to the World Chess Club Berlin play a game at the upstairs tournament area. The club features a piazza, a coffee shop, a sophisticated bar, and more.

The opening marks the launch of World Chess’ ambitions to reinvent the chess club culture in its entirety. The aim is to modernise the concept to fit more readily into mainstream society and function more as a social and collaborative centre. World Chess sees Berlin as an obvious location to debut this new and revised approach, given the cumulative factors of the substantial popularity of chess within Germany, and its vibrant café and bar scene.

The Club is located in the centre of the city on the popular street of Unter Den Linden, which starkly contrasts traditional chess clubs that have lately functioned out of multipurpose rooms. It will operate as a bar, event space, concept chess shop, coffee shop, and café and is hoped to set a new standard for the whole industry.

World Chess Club Berlin will also act as a hub, hosting chess events for the respective city as well as the rest of Europe. In addition, it will operate as the Armageddon Chess Series’ headquarters, with the 2023 series already being staged and filmed from its bespoke, purpose-built studio.

As the Berlin Club is part of the World Chess ecosystem, members of the FIDE Online Arena will get additional discounts and member-only access to a limited number of events. In keeping with World Chess’ aim to grow the sport and encourage people from all backgrounds, the Club is open to all with no need for a membership.

The Club will not only operate as a symbolically significant space for the chess community but is also visually captivating, standing to act as a physical landmark for the sport going forward. World Chess believes this is only the beginning of the chess club renaissance and intends to open further clubs around the world in the future.

Ilya Merenzon, Chief Executive Officer of World Chess, said:

“To date, chess has suffered from a lack of dedicated clubs and those that do exist are often very traditional, which can be intimidating for many. We wanted to build a club that is a symbolically significant space for the chess community, for both those living in and visiting Berlin.

‘Whilst technology has allowed the sport to grow virtually, we are also seeing a growing trend of people wanting to meet and play together, so we want to help facilitate and promote this immensely important social component through the Berlin Club.

‘The new club will play an important role in helping to bring chess out of the traditional stereotype and back into the modern world so that it can be shared and appreciated by all. The process of opening the World Chess Club Berlin has been very rewarding and we cannot wait to continue revolutionising chess clubs across the world in the future. Please do stop by if you are ever in Berlin and do let us know if you have a suggestion as to which city we should open our next club in!’

 No comments    711   18 d   Company News   main feature

Bibisara Assaubayeva steamrolls her way to the Armageddon Grand Finale

In Berlin, Germany, on May 14, 2023, the Armageddon Championship Series witnessed a victory by 19-year-old Bibisara Assaubayeva from Kazakhstan, who bulldozed over the world champions to win the Women’s Week. This victory secured her a place in the Grand Finale in September, alongside the tournament’s runner-up, Indian Grandmaster Humpy Koneru. Together, they will join an exciting line-up of finalists, including Wesley So, Sam Shankland, Gukesh D, and Nodirbek Abdusattorov, and compete for the main prize of €200,000.

The Armageddon Championship Series is set apart from typical chess tournaments by stunning visuals, colossal time pressure, nail-biting drama, and sky-high heart rates (yes, we measure it!) across six games. With a roster of top players like Gunay Mammadzada, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Alina Kashlinskaya, Sara Khadem, Nana Dzagnidze, and Elisabeth Paehtz, this competition has become a thrilling journey for chess fans worldwide.

This tournament has become one of the most attractive and widely televised chess events of the year, with live broadcasts on over 17 online and TV platforms. Highlights from the Armageddon Championship Series will be showcased worldwide on esteemed networks like CNBC, BeIN Sports, and FOX Australia. Technological innovations, such as real-time heart rate monitoring, have generated much buzz in the world of chess in the past week.

World Chess, an innovative chess company, has taken a unique approach to presenting the Armageddon Championship Series, utilizing a striking bespoke studio set that places players at the center of the game. This departure from traditional presentations showcases chess as a dynamic, modern, and thrillingly dramatic sport. Chess has been at the forefront of cutting-edge aesthetics for over a century, and the Armageddon Championship Series has the potential to redefine the next generation of visuals.

The next stage of the tournament will feature eight players from Europe & Africa region, including Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), Richard Rapport (Romania), Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Poland), Michael Adams (England), Vincent Keymer (Germany), Jorden van Foreest (Netherlands), as well as Matthias Bluebaum (Germany) and Alexander Donchenko (Germany), who qualified online. This high-stakes event will take place from June 12th-18th, following the same dramatic format and immense time pressure as the previous events. Chess fans can catch all the action and highlights on World Chess’s official YouTube channel.

Interesting facts about the highest heart rates:
— Bibisara Assaubayeva on May 9 recorded a heart rate of 155 bpm.
— Nana Dzagnidze on May 9 recorded a heart rate of 105 bpm.
— Sara Khadem on May 10 recorded a heart rate of 154 bpm.
— Alexandra Kosteniuk on May 9 recorded a heart rate of 158 bpm.
— Elisabeth Paehtz on May 12 recorded a heart rate of 143 bpm.
— Alina Kashlinskaya on May 12 recorded a heart rate of 163 bpm.
— Gunay Mammadzada on May 14 recorded a heart rate of 173 bpm.
— Humpy Koneru on May 11 recorded a heart rate of 165 bpm.

 600   26 d   Armageddon   Events   main feature

The Armageddon Series: Women’s Week to launch in Berlin beginning May 8

World Chess (LSE: CHSS) continues its Armageddon Championship Series with the Women’s Week, featuring eight of the world’s top female chess players in a high-stakes tournament to be held in Berlin from May 8 to May 14, 2023. This seven-day event promises to be a thrilling showcase of skill, strategy, and nail-biting drama.

The tournament will feature top-ranked players Alexandra Kosteniuk (Switzerland, blitz rating 2453, Humpy Koneru (India, blitz rating 2448), Bibisara Assaubayeva (Kazakhstan, blitz rating 2461), Sara Khadem (Iran, blitz rating 2417), Nana Dzagnidze (Georgia, blitz rating 2416), Gunay Mammadzada (Azerbaijan, blitz 2408), Alina Kashlinskaya (Poland, blitz rating 2382), and Elisabeth Paehtz** (Germany, blitz rating 2342).

They will battle it out in a double-elimination format with daily matches consisting of two blitz games with the potential for an additional Armageddon game if a victory does not emerge. The competitors will vie for an equal male category prize fund of €50,000 and the two available spots in the Grand Finale, where the qualifiers will battle it out for the €200,000 main prize.

The overarching aim of the week is not only to promote women in chess but to also reinforce our commitment to equality through the fairer distribution of prizes across the men’s and women’s matches. The winners of the tournament will go on to compete against male players, including Wesley So, Sam Shankland, Gukesh D, and Nodirbek Abdusattorov — marking a dramatic, but overdue, moment in the sport’s history.

Ilya Merenzon, CEO of World Chess, said: “For chess to grow and thrive, it needs to do more to attract female players. Chess remains a male-dominated sport, but World Chess is committed to changing this by promoting and creating welcoming environments where women can also compete against their male counterparts. We are thrilled to have this incredible female line-up at the upcoming Armageddon Week and believe it will be as spectacular and impactful as the plot of Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit, whilst helping to inspire a new generation of female players.”
The tournament will follow a dramatic format, with a real-time heartbeat display, frantic time controls, calories burned, and breakneck moves all adding to the excitement. Fans can watch the action with cutting-edge analysis by Grandmaster Simon Williams and International Master Jovanka Houska every day at 19:00 CET on over 17 television channels worldwide, as well as on World Chess’ official YouTube channel.

For the first few days, the players were divided into pairs as follows:

Day 1:
Elisabeth Paehtz — Gunay Mammadzada
Sara Khadem — Alina Kashlinskaya

Day 2:
Alexandra Kosteniuk — Humpy Koneru
Bibisara Assaubayeva — Nana Dzagnidze

The pairings will be established using the double-elimination system and will be determined by the results of the previous days.

May’s battle is set to be an unforgettable event for chess fans everywhere. Stay tuned for updates and highlights from the Armageddon Championship Series: Women’s Week, only from World Chess.

Leading partners supporting the Armageddon Championship Series:

Kaspersky is the Official Cybersecurity Partner;
FIDE Online Arena is the Official Gaming Platform;
The domains is the Official Partner.

Armageddon Day 1

 1854   1 mo   Armageddon   Company News   Events   main feature

Ding Liren Is World Champion

World Chess team joins the chess world in congratulating Ding Liren on becoming the 17th World Chess Champion. It was a pleasure to be a part of your chess journey!

Photos: World Chess
 777   1 mo   Company News   main feature

World Chess Lists on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange

World Chess Plc, a company that reinvents chess for 21st-century users, is listed on London Stock Exchange’s main market under the ticker symbol ‘CHSS’. ‘That was the closest to CHESS as we could get given that ticker symbols have only four letters,’ — said Ilya Merenzon, World Chess CEO.

‘We are very excited to join LSE and become a new chapter as a public company,’ added Merenzon: “It means a new level of responsibility to the users, investors, and partners, and also a new level of transparency. We are keen to work with the users and chess players and fans to take this journey together”.

Read the official listing announcement.

 873   1 mo   Company News   IPO   main feature   World Chess

Buy a Chess Set — Plant a Tree

World Chess, a global gaming company, will from now on plant a tree for each chess set sold. Beautiful chess sets and beautiful forests can co-exist.

World Chess Championship set

This environment-conscious initiative is a collaboration with One Tree Planted, a nonprofit dedicated to global reforestation. The main goal is to plant 10,000 trees over the next 5 years, restoring deforested and fire-affected areas. For every chess set purchased, World Chess will plant one tree in India where its main manufacturing site is located.

“We will plant a tree and help restore forests for every wooden chess set sold by World Chess and its partners around the world. It’s important to us, and it’s important to our customers. We will also continue using sustainable materials since It has always been important for World Chess to be sustainable and to use wood that is already harvested by the Indian government for their use. In other cases, the trees are sometimes so old that they have to be cut down and replanted, ‘ said the CEO of World Chess Ilya Merenzon.

According to the research, India lost 376kha of tree cover from 2001 to 2021, equivalent to a 3.7% decrease in forestation since 2000, and 204Mt of CO₂e emissions. The objectives of this partnership include supporting India’s reforestation efforts, empowering our partners and customers to act sustainably, and raising awareness of the importance of ecosystem rehabilitation.

Planting trees is one of the best ways to combat the damaging impacts of climate change. Trees clean our air and water, create habitat for biodiversity, contribute to our health and well-being, and create jobs for social impact.

The World Chess x One Tree Planted partnership is designed to simplify customer participation in global reforestation. For every chess set sold at the World Chess Shop, the company will make a donation to One Tree Planted equivalent to the cost of planting one tree. The trees will be planted by local partner organizations and community volunteers in areas where deforestation has occurred. World Chess will also monitor the effort and will keep its partners and customers informed.

Chess Platform to Measure Calories Burned by Playing Chess Online

FIDE Online Arena, the official gaming platform of the International Chess Federation, advances personal health in e-sport by introducing a new feature to measure calories burned by playing online.

Starting from today, FIDE Online Arena, the official FIDE gaming platform, which is operated by World Chess, will track and display the calories users burn during an online game of chess. Whilst calorie tracking is already widely used across offline fitness and sports, including chess, it has not previously been used as a feature in e-sports.

FIDE Online Arena is hoping that calorie tracking in e-sports will spread and there will be increasing encouragement for healthier lifestyle decisions. After each online chess game, which can last anywhere from 30 seconds to 45 minutes, an estimated number of calories burned during the game will appear alongside the game results. Players will also be able to track cumulative calories burned over a week, month, or even a year. During an average 5-minute game, an online player will typically burn only 4 calories, but with online players often playing many games the cumulative total can build rapidly.

This is thought to be the first time in online sports that athletes and casual players alike can access their calorie expenditure insights and trends using an integrated calorie calculator. The FIDE Online Arena has developed a unique and innovative tracking module that takes into account multiple key indicators including but not limited to, the player’s weight, height, and age (if known) as well as the speed of play, time, game intensity and the difficulty of each game.

Whilst this is a first for e-sport, in 2019, ESPN released surprising data relating to in-person chess. The published data concluded that chess players can use up to 6,000 calories a day during an in-person tournament, three times more than an average person consumes in an entire day. The study took into account research on calorie consumption and calories burnt by physical exertion and heightened mental activity.

Ilya Merenzon, CEO of World Chess, commented: “Supporting good health, both physical and mental, is hugely important, especially in modern societies which face the challenge of increasingly sedentary lifestyles. Therefore we are excited that FIDE Online Arena is using the latest technology and understanding of physiology to promote physical health for chess players around the world.

‘The research findings about the calories burned during chess reinforce the status of  chess as a physical as well as an intellectual challenge, a global sport that is good for your mind and also your body.’

Indian Chess Prodigy Arjun Erigaisi Breaks Big Record with $1.5 Million Sponsorship Deal

Chess prodigy Arjun Erigaisi is making history as he signs a groundbreaking sponsorship deal with Singapore-based Quantbox.

Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India

This five-year contract, worth over $1.5 million, marks the first-ever sponsorship of the Grandmaster from Telangana, and could be a major boost to his professional career. For Erigaisi, 2022 has been a breakthrough year as he has consistently improved his game, earning him a strong rank of 26th in the world by classical score. This sponsorship is the biggest of its kind in the history of Indian chess.

 737   2 mo   Arjun Erigaisi   main feature   Sponsorships

FIDE has changed the selection criteria for the candidates’ tournament

The International Chess Federation recently released the requirements for the 2024 Candidates’ Tournament.

Photo: World Chess (Candidates Tournament 2018 in Berlin)

“The main innovation is creating a new qualification path through different FIDE-rated tournaments. Tournaments that meet certain criteria, like being played under standard time control, supervised by International Arbiters, and where Fair Play measures are applied (among other criteria listed below in detail), will grant points towards the ‘FIDE Circuit’. The player with more points at the end of 2023 will get the coveted spot in the most prestigious of all chess tournaments.”

The competition will feature:

  • The loser of the FIDE World Championship Match (Ian Nepomniachtchi or Ding Liren);
  • The three top players from the World Cup 2023;
  • The two best players by FIDE Grand Swiss Tournament standings;
  • The top-performing player in FIDE tournaments in 2023 who has not yet been chosen;
  • The highest-ranked player in the Classic in January 2024 who has not already been selected.
 656   2 mo   FIDE   main feature
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