ZenSports Chess Action! | Road to Grandmaster Series

12 / 28 / 2021 By Jacob Shrader

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Hey ZenSportsians!


We hope everyone enjoyed our first ever chess tournament during the Pigeon Classic Charity Event. We had a lot of fun with the charity event as a whole, specifically with our chess tournament, the final tournament in the event. 

In total, we raised over $4,000 for Child’s Play Charity to help hospitals provide gaming equipment to those who need it most. 

In 2022, we will be launching an entirely unique chess tournament series, the Road to Grandmaster Series!

Not only will our monthly tournaments be exciting bouts of competitive chess action, but we have added a fun and incentivizing twist on top of that!


Road to Grandmaster Series

The Road to Grandmaster Series will feature monthly tournaments on the ZenSports app, with players playing their games using the Lichess engine. The bracket, list of players, and stats will all be held on our app, but individual matches will be sent as direct challenges on Lichess. 

Each month, on the third Saturday of the month, we will host a 32-player, single elimination Chess tournament for non-grandmasters only. This event will feature $1000 in prizes distributed on the ZenSports app. 

The winner of the tournament will also receive the opportunity to immediately face-off against a grandmaster for a chance to win an additional $500 – winner takes all. 

The initial Road to Grandmaster Series event will take place on January 22nd at 2 PM EST, with subsequent events happening on the third Saturday of each month. All events in the series will be streamed live to our Twitch and Theta.tv channels, as well as inside the ZenSports app. 

Make sure you are a member of the ZenSports Discord – this is mandatory for all players, and a great place to ask any questions you may have about the Series.


Tournament Rules and Format 

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. 

Road to Grandmaster tournaments are single elimination, and 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 Rules and Format

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. 


How to Register and Play

The tournament registration and bracket creation process will take place on the ZenSports app. 

To register for the tournament, please follow the following steps. Linked in these steps are ZenSports’ support articles to help you out when getting started!

  1. Download the ZenSports app. 
  2. Create an Account.
  3. Register for the Road to Grandmaster Series by hitting “More” -> “Play” -> Road to Grandmaster Series and “Register for tournament.”
  4. Type your full Discord ID when prompted by the app to do so. Only participants in our Discord Server are able to play in tournaments. 
  5. Link your Twitch username and update your display name to match your Lichess username. You can access both of these features by clicking on the top right corner of the app once you have registered for the tournament. 
  6. Head to the ZenSports Discord and send a message in the tournament-details channel or message our GM of Esports, kanyeshrayz(Jacob)#1980 to let him know you registered!


How to Watch and Win!

ZenSports streams all of our esports tournaments to our app, Twitch and Theta.tv channels. We will be joined by Christopher Felix, an amazing Chess personality and coach for these events. 

During the broadcast of the tournament, we will be giving away NFTs from our partners and packs from the Splinterlands!

Make sure you stay up-to-date on our Discord Server for information about all ZenSports tournaments!


Player Payouts and KYC Verification

Players who finish in the top 16 will be eligible to win USDT, distributed via the ZenSports app. Full prize distributions can be found by heading to the tournament on ZenSports and then to the “Prize Money” tab. 

After the tournament is over, player’s ZenSports accounts will be credited with their tournament winnings, but players must complete KYC before they are allowed to withdraw. 

If you want to win even more money from playing in our tournaments, make sure to check out our SPORTS Staking Rewards Program. The program rewards you for simply holding SPORTS tokens in your ZenSports account and playing in tournaments!

We understand that KYC is a hassle, but it is required. ZenSports is a money servicing business and faces many of the same regulatory hurdles as banks do!

For now, players should look to get verified using either PrimeTrust on the ZenSports app itself, or through a third party service: Yoti. 

Please read the following rules and restrictions:

  • All prizes will be paid out as credits to customers’ ZenSports account (either in USD, Bitcoin, ICX, or SPORTS).
  • All withdrawal requests must be submitted directly within the ZenSports app and all customers must go through KYC/AML verification and meet ZenSports’ Terms & Conditions for submitting withdrawal requests.
  • ZenSports does NOT offer third party payment options such as PayPal, Venmo, etc.
  • Players located in the following countries are ineligible from winning prize money.


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.

Lichess 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.

Lichess 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.


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