Monday, June 20, 2011 Masters Online Invitational

15 Master Chess Players competed in a first of its kind online chess tournament yesterday. The players, who competed in locations ranging from Brooklyn to Budapest, engaged each other in an online competition that combined video chat with a 3D interactive chess board.

NYC start-up Shindig created the website which enabled the chess pros from all over the globe to play chess as naturally as if they were sitting across the table from one another.The $1900 purse was won by GM Robert Hess, GM Baadur Jabava, GM Giorgi Kacheishvelli, GM Alex Lenderman, GM Bartosz Socko.

“I most enjoyed being able to see my opponents thinking, like I do when we are physically together” said GM Kacheishveili.

Online chess is a burgeoning field appealing to millions, competitive and casual players both. But many complain about the anonymity of playing online with people whose identities are impossible to confirm.

“Online one never really knows who your opponent is or whether they are using chess programs to gain advantage. I felt much more comfortable seeing my opponent” said IM Irina Krush. “and i enjoyed catching up with players I hadn’t seen in a while.”

Other GMs saw the platforms potential for teaching. “Many of my students are in the States and there is no good way to give them regular instruction. I see this being a great tool for connecting with aspiring Chess players” said GM Baadur Jobava, currently ranked as one of the top 40 players in the world playing from his home in Kiev, Ukriane.

Highlights of the tournament featuring excerpts of matches between are posted at the ShindigChess YouTube channel.

The company’s next tournament is a scholastic city wide tournament with NYC’s Chess in the Schools.

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