Road to Grandmaster Chess | July Tournament!

06 / 20 / 2022 By Jacob Shrader

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Hey ZenSportsians!

Welcome to the official blog post for the July tournament in the Road to Grandmaster Chess Series! The first five tournaments have been a blast and have featured some incredibly talented players and exciting matchups. 

In our February tournament, the final showmatch (for $500 in prizes) between Lefong Hua and GM Namig Guliyev ended in a draw in two consecutive matches. Finally, Namig defeated Lefong in a 5-minute match to claim victory. 

In Jube, popular Lichess streamer MariChess joined the commentary booth for the main event – she was an amazing addition to the tournament!

This tournament will be open to those who own a ZenSportsian NFT, and to those who purchase a single-entry ticket into the event


July Road to Grandmaster Chess Tournament

Thirty-two players will face off in a single-elimination, blitz chess bracket. The winner of this bracket tournament will face a FIDE GM in a fifteen-minute showmatch for an additional prize!

Date/Time: Saturday, July 23, at 2:00 pm Eastern. 

How to Watch: ZenSports Twitch and ZenSports Theta Channels. 

Format: Single elimination, bracket style tournament. Single-game showmatch against FIDE GM. More details on rules below. 

Registration: All players must register for the tournament in the ZenSports mobile app, and must subsequently check-in for the tournament in the ZenSports Discord server. All players will be given access to a special player-only channel as well as a specific role for the tournament.

Base Prize Pool: $2,500 in total prize money, to be distributed based on the following places (regardless of ZenSportsian NFT ownership):

1st: $1000

2nd: $500

3rd-4th: $250

Showmatch (vs. FIDE GM) Champion: $500

Entry Fee: $50 per entry ticket. Free entry for ZenSportsian NFT holders. To purchase an entry ticket, please send $50 worth of USDT or ETH to the following wallet address on the Binance Chain: 0xF611930a77Ce4d6246F2184f043E8A3ac9aDA69b

Tournament Entries

ZenSportsian NFT owners will receive an automatic FREE entry into the tournament. If you wish to play in the tournament but do not hold a ZenSportsian NFT, you can purchase a single entry into the tournament. Entry fee for non-NFT holders for this tournament is $50, and there will be $2,500 in prize money awarded to players (see exact prize pool above). Entries can be paid for in your cryptocurrency of choice within the ZenSports app.

How to Purchase a Tournament Entry for non-NFT Holders 

If you don’t hold a ZenSportsian NFT and wish to purchase an entry fee to this tournament, follow these 3 steps:

  1. Register for the tournament within the ZenSports Play app.
  2. Look out for an email from the tournament host, Jacob Shrader, with the different payment options.
  3. Pay your $50 entry fee with the currency option of your choice directly in the ZenSports app!

Don’t want to jump through all of the above hoops to pay for a tournament entry? Buy a ZenSportsian NFT instead and get in for free for all tournaments! If you play at least 9 tournaments per year, you’ll save a considerable amount of money by buying a ZenSportsian NFT. You can buy a ZenSportsian NFT here: 

Bracket Tournament Format and Rules

Matches in the Road to Grandmaster Tournaments are played as a two match series with opponents switching sides each match. 

If one player has an advantage after the initial two games, they will advance to the next game. 

The first set of matches in each series will be played with a 5 minute game clock, with one second added per move played. 

After the initial set of matches, if neither player has taken a clear advantage (2 wins, or 1 win and 1 tie) then players will face off against each other. 

The following two match series will be played with 3 minute clocks and +1 second per move. 

Players will continue to play this format, in two-match-series, until a clear winner has been chosen. 

The lower player on the ZenSports bracket will play as white during all first matches in two-match-series as well as send the initial challenge to their opponent on Lichess. 


Showmatch Format and Rules

Immediately after the tournament portion of the Road to Grandmaster event is over, the tournament winner will face off against a Grandmaster for a chance to win an additional $500. 

This showmatch will be played with 15 minute clocks with a +1 second increment per move. The winner of the tournament will play as white and submit the challenge to the Grandmaster. 

This match will decide whether the tournament winner or the grandmaster will take home $500 in prize money, separate from the prizes of the main tournament. If the match is a draw, the prize money will carry over to the next installment of the Road to Grandmaster series!

For the first installment of the Road to Grandmaster Series, the FIDE Grandmaster to be featured in the initial showdown match is Namig Guliyev!

Full Rules for Lichess play can be found at the bottom of this blog post.


Full Rules: 

All games must be played as rated games on the Lichess website. 

Lichess and their anti-cheat detection platform are the authorities for ensuring fair play in ZenSports events. All disputes and appeals with regards to fair play will be between the player and the lichess organization.

Lichess accounts must be in good standing before the start of the event. Players may not participate with an account that has been flagged with a “Violation of Lichess Terms of Service” banner.

Accounts must remain open for at least seven days after the conclusion of the event. If an account is closed within this timeframe, that player shall be disqualified from the event.

Accounts must remain in good standing for at least 72 hours after the conclusion of the event. If a player has their lichess account flagged with a “Violation of Lichess Terms of Service” banner, this is considered detection of cheating unless advised otherwise.

Players who are detected of cheating will be notified immediately and have 72 hours to have an official lichess representative e-mail the tournament director confirming that cheating did not occur in the event. If this e-mail confirmation from lichess is not received, that player shall be disqualified from the event.

Players who are found to have used  an alternate account during the series, even up to 14 days after the event taking place, will forfeit all prize money.

Players who are disqualified due to the violations above shall receive a two-month ban from ZenSports events for the first offense. Players shall receive a one-year ban from ZenSports events for the second offense.


Terms & Conditions of Prize Payouts

1) The total prize money and allocation per place, along with currency that the prize money will be in, is set by the director of the tournament. Details of this can be found within the tournament in the ZenSports app (or in this blog post).

2) ZenSports automatically credits player wallet accounts within ZenSports for any prize money won at the conclusion of each event.

3) Withdrawal requests must be submitted directly within the ZenSports app.

4) All ZenSports customers must complete Know Your Customer / Anti-Money Laundering verification before any withdrawals of funds can be made.

5) ZenSports does NOT offer third-party payment options such as PayPal, Venmo, etc.

6) Players located in these countries are ineligible to win any prize money.

If you have any questions about the event, or would like to learn more about participating, head to our Discord and ask away!


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