Chess is a game that needs no introduction. With an origin that can be traced back some 1500 years, it has adopted various iterations as it spread across the globe, before settling on the variation we all know and love in the early 16th century. To say it is popular would be a vast understatement, given the fact that over 70% of the entire world’s population have played chess at some point in their lives, and an estimated 605 million actively play on a regular basis.
The timeless relevance of chess in a fast-moving world has often been attributed to its stimulating use of reasoning and logic, which harmonize perfectly with its competitive and adventurous elements. In addition, technological advancements over the years have allowed increased adoption by presenting the game in entirely new ways, such as through AI opponents, on computers and phones, and globally across the web.
Most recently, social media streaming sites such as Youtube and Twitch - which are now cultural cornerstones – have pushed the game to modern audiences, with popular players uploading their matches and playing live.
But perhaps one of the most important modern presentations of the game was Netflix’s 2020 hit show, The Queen’s Gambit, which reached a staggering 62 million views during the first month of release and introduced chess to a whole new audience. It was perhaps no accident that the show was released during the heart of the global pandemic either – a point of living history which saw people confined to their homes and forced to find new avenues of mental stimulation. Chess itself saw a huge spike in adoption, due to a combination of existing players no longer able to meet in person, and newcomers looking for novel ways to entertain themselves. Interestingly, running parallel to the explosive growth of online chess was the meteoric rise of decentralized finance, with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin seeing a 300% increase in investment during 2020 and mass overall DeFi adoption climbing to 4% worldwide, as people sought alternative means of income to secure their financial future.
As the sector rapidly evolved, GameFi was soon introduced to investors, which combined decentralized finance with gaming, allowing individuals to not only play games they enjoyed, but also earn real-world money through a combination of in-game rewards, staking, and sales of digital assets. This concept proved to be so popular that early projects such as Axie Infinity reached a market cap of multiple billions.
With GameFi’s market penetration only set to grow exponentially over the next five years – alongside the rapid evolution of web 3 and blockchain technology – our own personal company saw a prime opportunity to become the next pioneers who would push the envelope of chess forward once more.
Our project represents the first ever free-to-play and play-and-earn version of chess with a built-in earning mechanism, and our mission is simple – provide existing chess players with the most nuanced and variable experience available coupled with financial rewards for their skills, while simultaneously introducing the game to an entirely new audience of investors and DeFi / GameFi enthusiasts.
Built on the Ethereum network, the project is available for both mobile phones and PCs, and whilst we were passionate about keeping the core rules of the gameplay unchanged, we have introduced an exciting new element, which will allow players to access fun features and new ways to play that will enhance the gaming experience, as well as maximize earning potential.
So, what’s the twist?
Immortals are stylish NFTs that represent specific chess pieces, of which between one and four can be strategically placed among a player’s standard setup before the match begins. Their introduction unlocks an entirely new level of engagement and excitement as each Immortal is linked to a quest. These challenges come in the form of micro and macro quests, with the former representing specific piece challenges (such as using the Immortal queen to capture an opponent’s piece first or checkmating with an Immortal knight), and the latter general challenges (such as winning the match in under 40 moves or being the first player to capture 3 pieces). Completing these quests will unlock valuable Immortal Points (IP), which in turn will allow individuals to place higher on the weekly leaderboard. Winners of the week will earn from a selection of brilliant prizes, such as $IGE or $CMT tokens, traditional cryptocurrencies, new immortal pieces, or even our popular mystery boxes.
The Immortals themselves are broken down into various aesthetic styles, known as Elements. There are currently four Elements (with more to come) which consist of marble, ebony, ivory, and steel, and are designed to create stunning collections. Additionally, each piece has a purity factor to it, ranging from rough to masterpiece, with the rarer variations not only receiving more Immortal Points on successful quests and scaling faster but also having a far higher resale value on our dedicated marketplace.
However, we are keen for the project to be experienced and enjoyed by all, so those who don’t wish to purchase Immortals can still play the game totally free – and instead acquire unique Ageless Pieces, which can be leveled up on their own, separate Ageless leaderboard!
Our overall project will be represented by a dual cryptocurrency system. The first token –$IGE – will allow staking to unlock the special powers for chess pieces, and act as a governance asset that allows community voting to help the team make key decisions. The second – $CMT (Checkmate token) – will not only be connected to the numerous upcoming features outlined in the whitepaper but also act as the financial backbone of the game’s economy and allow player progression. In addition, beyond the Play-And-Earn mechanics of the game, we at Immortal Game are keen to encourage new players to learn chess regardless of skill level or goals, which is why we are building our very own Immortal Academy.
While books and videos are a brilliant learning tool, we feel nothing can compare to the depth and social dimension of active teaching, which is why we will be using key individuals such as top players and ambassadors to help new players learn.
The extra features themselves will be added at a later date, as we wanted to keep things simple to begin with and focus on ensuring the modes we have already implemented are of the utmost quality. Whilst we are a team of diverse individuals – including back and front-end developers, game designers, and marketing strategists – the one thing we are all identical in is our love for chess, and our primary incentive will always be to produce the most exciting experience possible for our brilliant players.
Indeed, the project has already received overwhelming support from the global chess community despite not being fully released yet, and we are proud to have over 50 key individuals representing us as our aforementioned ambassadors, including Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (World Blitz Champion 2021, and former World #2 Male Player) and Antoaneta (former World #2 Female Player), and many more to come.
Currently, players among the community who tested the alpha and beta version of Immortal Game have now continued on since its open release, testing their skill among a number of these grandmasters in weekly tournaments, while attempting to earn fantastic rewards for their efforts. Immortal Game truly has all the necessary pieces in place to become a huge player in the GameFi scene, while modernizing chess for the web 3 generation.