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Nona Gaprindashvili sues Netflix over sexism at the Queen’s Gambit

It’s been almost a year since the release of “The Queen’s Gambit”, and the drama around it hasn’t calmed down.

In the Queen’s Gambit Series finale, one of the characters says: “Elizabeth Harmon’s not at all an important player by their standards. The only unusual thing about her, really, is her sex. And even that’s not unique in Russia. There’s Nona Gaprindashvili, but she’s the female World Champion and has never faced men.”

This phrase made the female chess legend sue Netflix for $5m calling the assertion “grossly sexist and belittling”.

Foto: Bridgeman Images

Gaprindashvili is currently 80 years old, living in Tbilisi, Georgia, and she in fact faced dozens of men during her career. According to the lawsuit, she had faced 59 men, including 28 in one simultaneous match, as well as 10 grandmasters by the time the television series was set in 1968.

The suit is clear about the damages that the film caused as it’s “devastating falsehood, undermining and degrading her accomplishments before an audience of many millions”. Also, Gaprindashvili didn’t leave unnoticed the fact that the directors portrayed her as Russian, while she is Georgian.

To the public eye, it seems very odd that these mistakes took place as Netflix had hired Russian former World Champion Garry Kasparov and American National Master Bruce Pandolfini as their consultants.

 61   1 mo   News   Queen’s Gambit

Customer Review of the Official World Chess Academy Set

Below we feature a World Chess Shop customer Piotr Zbierajewski review of the official World Chess Academy Set.

Hi,

I would like to present you my little review of the World Chess Official Academy Chess Set which I recently have purchased for outdoor gaming.

©World Chess

Below you can find the table of contents, so you can skip to the point that you are most interested in.

  1. Unboxing.
  2. The chess set.
  3. Final conclusion.

1. Unboxing.

So the box has been delivered by the courier in fairly good condition.

©Zbieraj – Piotr Zbierajewski

The box is made from good-quality cardboard. Personally, I don’t like the screaming label with „Legalize your skills” with the information about FIDE Arena, especially where this is misleading due to the fact that FIDE Arena ratings are not the same as normal FIDE rankings (and this is a physical chess set, not a digital one)

©Zbieraj – Piotr Zbierajewski

The box is being open by pulling one of the sides up. It uses quite strong magnets to keep everything inside in place. Although I would probably not risk it in a „let’s really shake that thing – test”.

©Zbieraj – Piotr Zbierajewski
©Zbieraj – Piotr Zbierajewski

I was really afraid of the cardboard chessboard but actually, it is done from quite good quality of cardboard, much better than those really cheap ones on the market. But still, it is cardboard, so it should not be put to extreme tests.

©Zbieraj – Piotr Zbierajewski
©Zbieraj – Piotr Zbierajewski

Personally, I like the colors and that specific grey color that they used around the squares. Also, the notation is very subtle. Visible enough for the new players and discreet enough for experienced players, to the point, where you really forget that it is there. I think that this should be a standard style for all the current boards which are using notation.

©Zbieraj – Piotr Zbierajewski
©Zbieraj – Piotr Zbierajewski

The chess pieces are packed in one big plastic zip-ish bag, which contains two other, smaller bags with white and black pieces.

©Zbieraj – Piotr Zbierajewski
©Zbieraj – Piotr Zbierajewski

Unfortunately, the thin cardboard inside the box is very fragile and, as you can see, the chess pieces already have made a few scratches and bumps during the transport, visible in the box.

©Zbieraj – Piotr Zbierajewski

2. The chess set.

Let’s talk about the whole chess set now.

As a regular player, playing on the wooden chess board with wooden chess pieces (Timeless German Knight 3,75”), I was very skeptical about this chess set. I mean, those are plastic chess pieces, right? How much you can expect from this kind of chess set. After all, I just wanted to have the possibility to play outdoors and not carry too much about the weather or the environment.

And I am surprised. This is the most comfortable plastic chess set I have ever played.

©Zbieraj – Piotr Zbierajewski

The pieces are really well-weighted (not that far from the wooden ones – comparison in a second). Very comfortable to hold. I mean ergonomically they are really great. Amazing actually.

Just to be clear – I have never played with the Official World Chess Pieces before. However, since this is a plastic copy of the original wooden OWCP, those who already own or played with the wooden set will probably recognize the same comfort of play with plastic figures. For me, those plastic pieces made me think about buying the wooden ones as well (but currently they are unavailable…).

But let’s talk about the details.

So the chessboard has 435mm x 435mm with a single square size of 48mm. The King’s height is 86mm. The information, which is not given in the official description of the product is that the king has a base diameter of 37mm. So the ratio, of the king to the square is 77%, which is a sweet spot for most recommended ratios, both for a tournament and casual gaming.

©Zbieraj – Piotr Zbierajewski
©Zbieraj – Piotr Zbierajewski
©Zbieraj – Piotr Zbierajewski

Under the chess pieces, you will find a thin layer of paper-ish coating-pad. It actually does its job pretty well, but it would probably easily peel off when playing outdoors in dripping rain.

©Zbieraj – Piotr Zbierajewski

Let’s compare now those World Chess Official Academy Chess pieces to the Timeless German Knight 3,75” set that I have. I was surprised to see that actually almost all of the pieces from this plastic set match, in height the wooden set.

©Zbieraj – Piotr Zbierajewski
©Zbieraj – Piotr Zbierajewski
©Zbieraj – Piotr Zbierajewski

The difference, however, is in the width. The wooden set, beside the king (and slightly the queen), has a smaller diameter by 5-10%. Another difference is in weight, which should not surprise, although, from a plastic chess set one would expect a bigger difference – again World Chess Official Academy Chess vs. wooden Timeless German Knight 3,75” chess.

Piece Plastic Wood
Pawn 12g 17g
Rook 20g 24g
Knight 25g 27g
Bishop 20g 28g
Queen 26g 46g
King 28g 57g

As you can see only the queen and king have a significant difference of nearly half the weight, whereas the other pieces have between 8% and 30%.

3. Final conclusion.

World Chess Official Academy Chess, in my opinion, has unnecessary information on the box saying: „Starter chess set”. Why? This set is so comfortable to play with that many experienced and very experienced players might really use it in many cases, instead of the wooden sets. I think that this label unnecessarily scares many advanced chess players away just because of those words.

The chess pieces are very ergonomic and well-weighted, taking into the consideration fact, that this is a plastic set. I think this might be one of the best plastic sets right now on the market.

As for the negatives, I think that there is always a place for improvements when it comes to the chessboard (there are some better cardboard and plastic options on the market if you really want to search for them). I would like to see World Chess experimenting more with vinyl chess boards as well (I would love to see one with the graphical design taken from this cardboard chessboard in the set). Another improvement would be to change the bottom protective pads. I don’t think that it has to be a felt pad, but still, something that could maybe stand slightly rainy weather as well. Last but not least – the chess could be even slightly heavier to really mimic the feeling of moving the wooden chess pieces. But the last sentence needs to be taken with a grain of salt because chess sets always have additional weight added artificially, so one will find the lighter setup more comfortable and other people will be happy with heavier chess pieces.

In conclusion, this is a very good set with a cardboard chess board and box, as well as those iconic (but plastic) World Chess pieces.

In my opinion, the purchase was absolutely worth those $32.00, if you want to buy a really well-made plastic set. If you play with a not-the-best-in-the-world wooden set, you might find yourself actually switching to this one instead, probably due to the ergonomics and design of the WC pieces.

However, when it comes to the chess clubs I think that the World Chess offer for clubs is much more interesting due to the fact that you can (or could – currently unavailable) buy, as a club, 10 sets of those for $150.00, so for $15 per set. When taking into the account quality of the World Chess Official Academy Chess, I think it is a bargain.

Piotr “Zbieraj” Zbierajewski

 3151   1 mo   shop

The Winner of the Algorand Chess Tournament Will Receive a Trip to Dubai

Algorand, the official blockchain partner of the 2021 World Chess Championship, is holding a series of online chess tournaments to celebrate the upcoming Match. The winner will receive a trip and VIP entrance to the World Chess Championship in Dubai.

Algorand, the official blockchain partner of the 2021 FIDE World Championship Match, is holding a series of online chess tournaments to celebrate the upcoming Match. The winner of the Series, which takes place from September to October 2021, will receive a fully-paid trip for two to Dubai to visit the World Chess Championship — the most significant chess event of the decade.

The series leads up to the Championship and is hosted by the FIDE Online Arena, the official FIDE gaming platform. Everyone is invited to sign up and take part in the series. It has been developed by Algorand to give the crypto community and chess fans alike the chance to play in a real chess competition, which features: challenging time controls, qualifier events, and a magnificent prize.

The Algorand Crypto Series consists of four qualifier tournaments and the final showdown, with the first tournament starting on September 26:

  1. Algorand Online Series Qualifier #1 — September 26, 15 UTC;
  2. Algorand Online Series Qualifier #2 — October 3, 15 UTC;
  3. Algorand Online Series Qualifier #3 — October 10, 15 UTC;
  4. Algorand Online Series Qualifier #4 — October 17, 15 UTC;
  5. The final, October 24, 15 UTC.

To enter the final tournament, a player must finish in the top five in one of the qualifying events, so the competition will be fierce, but it’s worth it!

The prize winner and a guest will receive a 4-day trip to Dubai and tickets for the first round of the Championship match. The second-place and third-place winners will receive the Official World Chess set and a one-year subscription to the FIDE Online Arena respectively.

The winners of the Series will be decided in the final on October 24, which will be broadcast live and commentated by a top chess player.

Full tournament regulations can be found on the Series page.

Algorand is the official blockchain partner of the World Chess Championship and the FIDE Online Arena, the official FIDE chess gaming platform. Official FIDE Online Arena ratings and titles which are recognized by FIDE and appear on the players’ official profiles are recorded on Algorand’s decentralized blockchain network in real-time, bringing reliability and transparency to the rating system of digital chess.

 2201   1 mo   Algorand   Arena   Magnus Carlsen   Nepo

FIDE Online Arena Makes a Move To a New Domain: Chessarena.com

Finally, a domain name that you can actually remember!

FIDE Online Arena on the new domain, chessarena.com

FIDE Online Arena, the official FIDE gaming platform, is busy with getting chess fans to give it a try, but for years we’ve made users trying to remember a very odd domain name. But we learned the lesson and there will be no more of that. Hence a new domain, chessarena.com: easy to remember and easy to type in your browser (and on a mobile device).

Frequently Asked Questions

Is FIDE Online Arena the same as FIDE?
No, FIDE is the International Chess Federation and FIDE Online Arena is the exclusive official FIDE Gaming Platform. It’s approved by FIDE.

Is FOA rating the same as FIDE rating?
Nο, they are not the same. FIDE rating is awarded by playing over-the-board games, and FOA rating is awarded by playing online on FIDE Online Arena. FOA Rating is recognized by FIDE and you can qualify for online Arena titles as per FIDE regulations. The FOA title and FOA ratings appear on your profile card on fide.com.

Are there any FOA Rated Tournaments?
Plenty! Visit chessarena.com/tournaments and pick the one that fits your schedule and time control preferences.

Do you have an Android app?
Not yet, but we’re working on it! Meanwhile, you can use the mobile version of our website ;)

Where can I see FOA rating on the website?
FOA rating is presented on the website in the player’s profiles. But don’t forget that 2700chess.com, an influential website that calculates and publishes chess players’ live ratings, publishes live ratings from the top 100 FOA players!

What if I’m facing a technical issue?
You can always contact support@worldchess.com, and our support team will be right there for you!

 2836   1 mo   Arena   Main feature

Norway Chess: Karjakin beats the World Champion and his challenger in two days

Sergey Karjakin, the 2016 challenger, had beaten the World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, in a classical game in Round 5 of the Norway Chess Tournament. In the next round, he defeated the 2021 challenger, Ian Nepomniachtchi, in the Armageddon game.

Photo by Lennart Ootes

Carlsen chose to play safe with black, and went for the Sicilian Sveshnikov, an opening that he used in his 2018 match against Fabiano Caruana. After 17 moves of theory, Karjakin decided to go all in, spicing up the position with tactics, which worked beautifully for the Russian GM, and led him to a big win.

That was Carlsen’s second classical loss against Karjakin since G8 in the 2016 World Championship Match, and the World Champion was clearly very upset and skipped the visit to the TV 2 studio; instead went straight to his room.

Photo by Lennart Ootes

Round 6 was equally impressive for Karjakin who managed to win the 2021 Challenger of the World Champion Title, Ian Nepomniachtchi, in the Armageddon game of the Norway Chess Tournament.

The two Russians have faced each other earlier in the Tournament, with Nepomniachtchi dominating the classical game against the Berlin defence. However, the “revenge” didn’t take long to strike, with Karjakin winning the Armageddon game of Round 6 brilliantly.

Twitter couldn’t let this series of events go unnoticed, and we are all waiting to see what the future holds for the 2016 challenger, who is definitely in good form.

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