Animoca Brands announced Tuesday the first phase launch of Anichess, a free-to-play chess strategy video game developed in partnership with and five-time World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen.

Anichess offers players a new version of the beloved classic game and is available completely free of charge, Animoca Brands said in a statement.

According to the statement, 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 in the first quarter of 2024.

Anichess preserves the core ethos of chess, demanding of its players the same understanding of strategic planning, probability, and psychology required in the classic game, while also introducing an innovative spell mechanism that adds an entirely new strategic layer.

Players of 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 (e.g. 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.

The goal of Anichess is to deliver an experience that makes 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.

In addition to Magnus Carlsen, Anichess has assembled an elite roster of chess talent, including Anish Giri, the Dutch Grandmaster and world’s number 7; David Howell, the English Grandmaster, commentator and world number 56; David Antón Guijarro, the Spanish Grandmaster and world number 58; Sopiko Guramishvili, the Georgian-Dutch International Master, Woman Grandmaster, acclaimed author; and others.

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

Yat Siu, the Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Animoca Brands, commented that Anichess revolutionizes the classic royal game by fusing traditional strategy and gameplay with the innovative elements of spellcasting, a fantasy storyline, and Web3 functionality.

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

Anichess is a subsidiary of Animoca Brands focused on developing and advancing decentralized chess through its distinctive spell-chess gameplay.

The firm brings new energy and innovation to one of the world’s oldest and most widely played games, modernizing and tokenizing it to take advantage of opportunities presented by Web3 technologies and communities.

Anichess is a completely free-to-play game that combines the core values of traditional chess with an additional layer of strategy provided by new features that include an innovative spell mechanic and special challenges.

It boasts a strong focus on powerful visuals and skill-based gameplay to deliver a captivating, esport-like experience for fans of chess and novices alike.

Animoca Brands is a Web3 leader that leverages blockchain to deliver digital property rights to consumers around the world to help to establish the open metaverse.

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