chess24 Feb 23, 2020 | 8:38 PMby chess24 staff

chess24's 6th birthday: 18 hours of Banter Blitz

Newcomers Sam Shankland, Gata Kamsky, Aleksandr Lenderman and Irina Krush join old favourites Jan Gustafsson, Peter Svidler and many more as we celebrate the 6th anniversary of chess24’s launch with 18 hours of non-stop Banter Blitz this Monday. That’s not all, as we’re releasing a Candidates Preview video series by Magnus Carlsen seconds Jan, Peter Heine Nielsen and Laurent Fressinet, and there are more surprises to come. You can also get a free hoodie if you go Premium.

It’s six years now since chess24 launched on 24th February 2014. Traditionally we’ve celebrated with a Banterthon where a few players have played round-the-clock from Hamburg, but this year we decided to do things a little differently. It’s still going to be 18 hours of non-stop Banter Blitz action, but with 12 different players from locations all around the globe. We’re planning a lot more US content this year, so you might notice a less Eurocentric line-up (click a name to go to the show):

As you can see Jan Gustafsson is kicking things off at 11am, which will be a luxury after his early morning Chess Bundesliga game today:

Jan's encounter with a 250 points lower rated opponent finished as one of the smoothest draws you’ll ever see and ensured a narrow victory for his team  

Our Norwegian friends Sebastian Mihajlov, Benjamin Haldorsen and Jon Ludvig Hammer then take over for four hours before the show has a French flavour with Laurent Fressinet (don’t worry, everyone will speak English!). Then it’s 8-time Russian Champion Peter Svidler before the remaining 8 hours see US and Canadian players in action, including chess24 Banter Blitz debuts for Sam Shankland, Gata Kamsky, Aleksandr Lenderman and Irina Krush. Between them they’ve won 13 US Championships, while Pascal Charbonneau, chess24’s new Mr. North America, is a 2-time Canadian Champion. Lefong Hua hasn't yet won the Canadian Championship but he does have a famous bullet move (Bh6!) named after him!

This is regular Banter Blitz, not matches, so you get the chance to challenge the players yourself! All you need to do is:

  1. Hover over a player’s username under the video
  2. Click “Challenge me!”
  3. Pick your time control (usually 3-minute or 5-minute) and click “Challenge”
  4. Then wait for him or her to accept your challenge when you’ll be taken to the game automatically

The one condition is that you’re a chess24 Premium Member, but if you’re not yet now’s a great chance to take the plunge! Everyone who takes out a 1, 2 or 3-year Premium Membership and uses the voucher code BIRTHDAY2020 before 27th February will be able to choose a free hoodie from our store (a special code will be sent out by email in the first week of March):

Go Premium now by clicking this link!

As well as other benefits such as unlimited tactics puzzles, cloud analysis of any move you make on the board and no ads, Premium Membership includes full access to our video library, meaning thousands of hours of the highest quality chess videos. That library will grow on Monday with the release of a new series, Candidates 2020: A Preview.

World Champion Magnus Carlsen’s regular preparation team of Peter Heine Nielsen, Laurent Fressinet and Jan Gustafsson take a look at all eight players who will contest the 2020 Candidates Tournament in Yekaterinburg, Russia in under a month’s time. Who calculates best? Who’s the best prepared? Who’s hot or not? (perhaps not what you expect!) Who’s going to win?

We may or may not find out the answer to that question, but for now here’s a teaser where the judges judge themselves! What do Jan, Peter and Laurent think of each other’s current chess skills? You don’t want to miss this free video, which may have ended some friendships for good:

So all that’s left to say is make sure you join us for a very long day of chess fun on Monday!

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