General May 9, 2021 | 5:43 PMby FM Joachim Iglesias

Battle of the Minds: one week of chess + poker matches!

Great minds clash in the two most competitive intellectual sports: chess and poker! Every evening from Monday, May 10 to Saturday, May 15, two great players will face each other in a match mixing chess and poker. The week begins with an exciting match between 8-time Russian Chess Champion Peter Svidler and 3-time World Blitz Champion Alexander Grischuk! Simon Williams and Lawrence Trent will provide commentary. In parallel to this series of matches with commentary in English, another series of matches with commentary in French will be held.

Match format

Players will play in order:

  • A 3+1 blitz game for 1 point
  • A Hyper-turbo Heads-Up for 1 point
  • A 5+2 blitz game for 2 points
  • A Turbo Heads-Up for 2 points
  • At the same time, a 10+10 rapid game and a standard Heads-Up for 3 points each

All the matches are independent. Please note that all the poker games are freerolls, meaning there is no money involved.

The Battle of the Minds' English schedule

All matches start at 20:00 CEST

Peter Svidler vs. Alexander Grischuk on Monday (commentary by Simon Williams and Lawrence Trent)

Peter and Sasha are back for another chess + poker battle!

The 8-time Russian Chess Champion and the 3-time World Blitz Champion already battled in the 2 vs. 2 previous Battle of the Minds! This time, the two friends face each other 1 vs. 1! Will Peter get his revenge? 

Simon Williams vs. Lawrence Trent on Tuesday (Commentary by the players)

Simon and Lawrence can promise 3 things: exciting chess, exciting poker, and exciting banter!

Our commentators, Simon "GingerGM" Williams and IM Lawrence Trent will face each other, playing and commentating at the same time!

Mehdi Ouakhir vs. Yago Santiago on Wednesday (commentary by Lawrence Trent)

One Moroccan FM and one Brazilian GM play a match commentated by one English IM!

FIDE Master Mehdi Ouakhir is one of the best Moroccan chess players and one of the best Moroccan poker players! Yago Santiago became a Grandmaster at age 25 and is currently the 10th best Brazilian player!

Clément Richez vs. ilares on Thursday (commentary by Lawrence Trent)

Two of the best French poker players will face each other!

Clément Richez and ilares are two professional poker players who left France to play on the ".com." The former lives in Budapest and the latter in Malta, two popular destinations among poker players. Clément has only played chess for 6 months, but he fell in love with the game and takes streamed lessons on chess24fr!

Florencia Fernandez vs. Ali Mortazavi on Friday (commentary by Simon Williams)

Our chess24es star will compete against one of the British chess legends!

2-time Argentinian Champion and Women International Master Florencia Fernandez regularly commentates for chess24es. International Master Ali Mortazavi quit professional chess to have huge success in the business world. He is currently the CEO of e-therapeutics. 

Nick Pert vs. Richard Pert on Saturday (commentary by Simon Williams)

The Battle of the Twins!

Former World U18 Chess Champion and Grandmaster Nick Pert plays against his twin brother Richard, an International Master!

The Battle of the Minds' French schedule 

In parallel to the English commentary matches played on, there are French commentary matches played on All matches start at 8 pm. Laurent Fressinet will provide commentary.

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