2007/03/16

A "Second Life" for chess players

Chess players usually spend their “second life” on ICC, Playchess, FICS etc. Perhaps some of them ignore that a more developed virtual world already exists: its name is... “Second life”. Not too original, isn’t it? This world is very similiar to the real one: yes, because you have to pay for everything even there :-) , so don’t be astonished if you’re completely naked the first time you log in...
Our beloved game/art/sport made its first step on “Second life” last november: it was day 16 when the first match of “Avatar Chess” took place on Kula 4 Island (yes, there are lots of islands on “Second life”). You will ask what Avatar Chess is... Well, it is a game of chess played by 32 avatars (16 vs 16), but you can also call them players. In this way chess can be a team-sport! In the mentioned game White team (with... White pieces) won due to Red (Black) running out of time: each team had 30 minutes, with no bonus. One month later, on 10th of December, Red team (with... White) tried to take a revenge, but was checkmated on move 19 after lots of blunders. The first game was not recorded, but there is a transcription of the second one. Here it is...

Red team-White team [A02], Kula 4 Island (Second Life) 10.12.2006
1. f4 e5 2. fxe5 d6 3. Nc3 dxe5 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. e4 Bg4 6. Bb5 Nf6 7. d3 Be7 8. h3 Bh5 9. Nd5 Nxd5 10. exd5 Qxd5 11. c4 Qc5 12. Rg1 Bxf3 13. gxf3 Qxg1+ 14. Ke2 Qg2+ 15. Ke3 Bg5+ 16. Ke4 f5+ 17. Kxf5 O-O+ 18. Ke4 Bxc1 19. Qxc1 Qxf3#

After this second match Avatar Chess has disappeared: it’s not clear if we will hear again about it. Don’t worry, anyway: chess is gaining space on “Second Life” and some people have already created a virtual zone to play it, in parks or other places. You can even buy a virtual wooden chessboard on SLBoutique.com: it costs 99 “L” dollars, but don’t ask me what “L” is for.
It won’t be so unbealievable if, in a few decades, there will be lots of virtual players playing in virtual clubs. And can you imagine big tournaments having place on virtual islands, owned by Fide president? I can, but I hope it will never happen. Don’t tell anything to Kirsan, anyway…

More details on Avatar chess here. “Second Life” officiale site: http://secondlife.com/.

3 comments:

The Closet Grandmaster said...

Hey, thanks for the link. Who are you?

FM Dario Mione said...

Hi!
My name is Dario Mione and I'm an italian journalist and chess player. I've created my own Blog (you've just visited it :-) ) and I put a link to your site, as I found it interesting. I don't pretend you to do the same, but I would be really happy if you will :-)
Sorry for my bad english... I hope you will appreciate my site anyway!

Best wishes!
Dario

Martha said...

Well written article.