Ripstone Publishing, to celebrate the release of their game, Pure Chess (available on Steam and Xbox One), decided to challenge chess Grandmaster Simon Williams (for those not versed in chess, a Grandmaster is the highest title for a world champion of the game.) As one of the 30 UK Grandmasters, he became a Grandmaster at 28, which he admitted was late as in the modern day most Grandmasters do, typically earning the title in their early 20s.
Watch live video from on www.twitch.tv
Williams, never playing a chess game by vote in such a manner, came in feeling confident about the live event: “I’ve never done this before. I’ve played a lot of chess before, over my life, obviously…I’m feeling reasonably confident.”
With the Twitch chat playing the white side and voting for the next move, Williams handily won the first game and the second (blindfolding himself while visualizing the board as the moves were being called to him.) The third game, with over 600 Twitch users chatting and voting, overcame the Grandmaster.
Over the live event, Williams also talked about the game, discussing his favourite opening (including the Dutch Defense and the King’s Gambit). He also discussed why he loves the game: “The beauty of chess is that it bridges the gap between ages […] it bridges religion, it bridges culture.” He also discussed flourishes and characteristics players may have, including screwers (who move pieces so deliberately and confidently they screw the pieces into the board), bangers (who bang hard on the chess clock after making a move), and fingerfehlers (which is a flourish of players after removing a captured piece, spinning it before placing it down on the board side.) For a game so simple and strategic, the conversation in the live chat is quite entertaining.
Throughout the final game, Williams also remarked on the chess savviness of the chat, calling out several of the chatters for their knowledge of technical terms and moves in the game. Towards the last few moves, Williams was already preparing to resign the game. “Where did you get these people on Twitch chat?” he asked the host. “These guys are like top chess players.” The killing blow ended up getting over 200 votes.
For their savvy, the Twitch chatters earned themselves a random Ripstone Publishing game for beating Williams.
What’s your favourite classic tabletop game? Let us know in the comments!
Teri Litorco’s first tabletop game was chess, having been taught at the age of 5 by her father, who hustled folks on the streets of Manila at the game in his younger years. She’s also the author of The Civilized Guide to Tabletop Gaming, having learned how to lose gracefully as the one and only time she beat her dad was the first time they ever played (not that he went easy on her.) Follow her on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (and ping her on those social platforms if you pre-order her book for a special gift!)