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Magnus Carlsen and Animoca Brands Begin Phased Launch of Decentralized Chess Game

Julia Smith
Last updated: | 2 min read
Couretsy of Unsplash

Game software development company Animoca Brands has begun the phased launch of its decentralized chess strategy video game, Anichess, in partnership with Norwegian chess grandmaster, Magnus Carlsen, the company announced today.

A “spellbinding strategy game”

According to a Tuesday press release from Animoca Brands, the company describes its latest release as a “spellbinding strategy game that combines the core rules of chess with a rich, captivating story” while featuring “magic spell mechanics” that will offer “a range of offensive, defensive and counter tactics.”

News of the game’s initial release follows the company’s June 2023 seed round funding announcement that saw over $1.5 million raised for Anichess’ development.

“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,” the press release reads in part. “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. “

Carlsen helps bring innovation to chess

Available free-to-play at, the game currently boasts player-versus-environment gameplay, however, player-versus-player gameplay is expected later in quarter one of 2024.

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

A leader in Web3 chess gameplay, Anichess has amassed a number of key Grandmaster partnerships inside the chess world, including Anish Giri, David Howell, David Antón Guijarro, Sopiko Guramishvili, and more.

“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,” Animoca Brands states.

Anichess ushers in a new chess era

Moreover, Anichess is suitable for a variety of skill levels in order to “deliver an experience that makes chess more engaging and accessible to all.”

“Anichess revolutionizes the classic royal game by fusing traditional strategy and gameplay with the innovative elements of spellcasting, a fantasy storyline, and Web3 functionality,” said co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands, Yat Siu. “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.”

Future developments pertaining to Anichess may be found on the game’s official discord.