• Animoca Brands starts phased deployment of its digital chess game Anichess
  • The free-to-play video platform was developed in collaboration with Chess.com and world champion Magnus Carlsen
  • Anichess combines core rules of chess with captivating story and new gameplay elements


Special Report: In a strategic opening move, Animoca Brands, in collaboration with the renowned online chess platform Chess.com and five-time world chess champion Magnus Carlsen, has started the phased deployment of Anichess.

Hong Kong-based, formerly ASX-listed, blockchain-games-developing and investment powerhouse Animoca Brands has announced the first phase launch of Anichess, a free-to-play chess strategy video game developed in partnership with Chess.com and five-time world chess champion Carlsen.

Animoca Brands says the innovative venture aims to redefine the digital chess landscape, advancing the game into a new era of online play and strategy.

Anichess offers players a new version of the beloved classic game and is available free of charge at www.anichess.com, requiring just a web browser or mobile-compatible web-based platform.

The company says Anichess is a spellbinding strategy game that combines the core rules of chess with a rich, captivating story and new gameplay elements, including magic spell mechanics for a range of offensive, defensive and counter tactics.

In the first phase of launch, Anichess features player-versus-environment (PvE) gameplay, while the second phase of the launch will introduce player-versus-player (PvP) later this quarter.


Bringing an ancient game into 21st century

Animoca Brands says Anichess preserves the core ethos of the 1500-year-old chess game, demanding of its players the same understanding of strategic planning, probability and psychology required in the classic form.

However, it also introduces an innovative spell mechanism that adds an entirely new strategic layer with its goal to make chess more engaging and accessible to all.

“By working closely with partner chess Grandmasters and game designers, Anichess seeks not only to cater to a large global community of chess enthusiasts, but also to widen the chess horizon and tap into new audiences, including those who enjoy strategy games but do not play chess regularly,” the company says.

“All skill levels, including beginners, can enjoy this new evolution of chess enriched by new strategic depth, tactical magic, and expansive lore.”

In its current first phase of launch, Anichess immerses players in a solo adventure in which they must use unique magical spells, such as transforming any non-royal piece into a knight,  to solve daily chess puzzles.

By completing these daily challenges, players can collect Orbs of Power game assets that provide in-game utility, such as unlocking new challenge puzzles that offer greater rewards.


Snaring grandmaster Carlsen as an ambassador

Magnus Carlsen is considered by many chess enthusiasts to one of, if not the best chess players of all time.

Now aged in his early 30s, he was considered a child prodigy when he defeated Russian grandmaster Anatoly Karpov as a 13-year-old in 2004.

He is currently reigning as the five-time World Rapid Chess Champion, the seven-time World Blitz Chess Champion, and the current holder of the Chess World Cup Championship.

Commenting on the launch of the first phase of Anichess, Carlsen says it is innovating chess.

“I am excited that Anichess is bringing innovation to chess with spells and strategy gaming elements that provide a refreshing chess experience,” he says.

In addition to Carlsen, Anichess has assembled an elite roster of chess talent including:

  • Dutch Grandmaster and world number 7 Anish Giri
  • English Grandmaster, commentator and world number 56 David Howell
  • Spanish Grandmaster and world number 58 David Antón Guijarro
  • Georgian-Dutch International Master, Woman Grandmaster, acclaimed author Sopiko Guramishvili, and others.


‘New dimension of chess’

Animoca Brands co-founder and executive chairman Yat Siu says he expects Anichess will become a core asset for the company.

Animoca Brands is backing more than 400 Web3 projects and mid last year closed another $US75 million in funding – valuing the company at a mammoth US$5 billion.

“Anichess revolutionizes the classic royal game by fusing traditional strategy and gameplay with the innovative elements of spellcasting, a fantasy storyline, and Web3 functionality,” Siu says.

“We are thrilled to partner with Chess.com and to have Magnus Carlsen and other impressive chess talent with us as we pioneer this new dimension of chess.”


This article was developed in collaboration with Animoca Brands, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.  

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.