30 May 2021

Crypto Chess

A few days ago, in Business Yahoos (May 2021), I featured a couple of press releases from PRNewswire.com. At the time I noted,

The crypto tournament ['Powered by Coinbase'] merits a separate post and I'll come back to it as soon as I can. In fact, there were two such tournaments announced during the past month.

The first of those tournaments, which is nearing the final stage, was announced in a post by Leon Watson of Chessable.com (a Play Magnus subsidiary), that also reads like a press release:-

  • 2021-05-17: FTX Crypto Cup: The world’s FIRST bitcoin chess tournament (championschesstour.com) • 'The FTX Crypto Cup is organised by Play Magnus Group, a global leader in the chess industry, and FTX, a leading cryptocurrency exchange. FTX has also entered into a long-term agreement with Play Magnus Group to become its Official Cryptocurrency Exchange Partner.'

The second tournament will be played next month:-

  • 2021-05-20: CryptoChamps Chess Tournament Powered by Coinbase is June 12-13 (prnewswire.com; 'News provided by Chess.com') • 'Star personalities from the world of cryptocurrencies will play in a charity chess tournament. A $25,000 prize fund powered by Coinbase will be donated to charity institutions chosen by each of the participants, with donations made entirely in cryptocurrency.'

Entirely by coincidence, a few days before those announcements I posted Four Faces of Crypto Currency (May 2021), with a quality stock photo of chess pieces mingling with crypto coins. Strictly speaking, it wasn't entirely a coincidence. I've been following the crypto evolution for nearly six years on another of my blogs, Bitcoins and Blockchains. I decided early on that It's for Speculating, Not Buying Stuff (October 2015), a conclusion that has been reinforced through the years.

It's great to see chess get new sponsors. There has long been an implicit relationship between chess and poker, with some crossover between top-level players in both domains. Chess promoters need to be careful that they don't get too caught up in online gambling. I don't see how that would work out well for anyone.

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