Feb 18 2011

ChessCube sponsors the 2011 Online Commonwealth Chess Championships



ChessCube sponsors the 2011 Online Commonwealth Chess Championships

Cape Town, South Africa – 18 February 2011

ChessCube, the world leader in online chess tournaments, with over 20,000 tournaments and 5 million games played per month, will partner with the organizers of the 2011 Commonwealth Chess Championships. ChessCube.com will run an online pre-event where three lucky winners will gain free entry, free accommodation at the venue’s Peermont Mondior hotel, as well as $1,500 in cash towards their flights and other expenses.

Graham Jurgensen, the convenor of the 2011 Commonwealth & South African Open Chess Championships, which will be held in Johannesburg South Africa from June 25th through July 3rd, said: “We are very excited to be partnering with ChessCube on this world-first online event. The real-world event will be held at the beautiful Emperors Palace Hotel Casino & Convention Resort, and the online event will give three lucky participants free entry and accommodation as well as expenses.”

The online tournament series is aimed at three groups: above 2000 players, 1700 to 2000 and below 1700 rated players. Each series will have a round robin final with eight finalists in each.

“Anyone in the world can enter the online event”, said ChessCube CEO Mark Levitt. “The Commonwealth Championships will be held in conjunction with the South African Open – and players who are not from commonwealth countries are still eligible for all cash prizes”. We are expecting a massive turnout for this online event and we would not be surprised if this breaks all known online tournament world records.”

ChessCube also sponsored the 2009 South African Open, where titled players participated from a second venue in Melbourne, Australia via www.ChessCube.com. This event made world chess history when FIDE, the world chess federation, worked with ChessCube to ensure that the Internet games, were officially rated, setting a precedent that could see tournaments using this technology in the future.

Useful links

ChessCube website: www.chesscube.com
Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ChessCube
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ChessCube
Tournament website: http://www.chessa.co.za/tournament_websites/CWCC2011/index.html
High Resolution Logo (PNG): http://www.chesscube.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/ChessCubeLogo.png

Contact information

ChessCube(Pty) Ltd.
Contact: Mark Levitt (CEO)
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=7230957&trk=tab_pro
Office: +27 21 555 2019
[email protected]

About ChessCube

ChessCube (www.chesscube.com) was launched in May 2007 from its Cape Town headquarters. It has since grown into a community of over 1.4m avid chess players, and continues to grow at a rapid pace. ChessCube is an innovative, live chess platform, focused on online tournaments and live playing within a social community. Mark Levitt, founder and CEO of ChessCube, is four times South African Chess Champion. ChessCube’s investors include InVenfin, Vinny Lingham and Michael Leeman.

For more information or images, please contact Mark Levitt ([email protected]).


Oct 14 2009

ChessCube SA Open 2009 Report


In July 2009, ChessCube and CHESSA announced the first FIDE rated online matches. These were matches were played in the 2009 SA Open between players based in Melbourne, Australia and players based in Cape Town, South Africa. GM Amon Simutowe won the tournament.

ChessCube has recently released a report on the event for FIDE. The report summarises the key challenges and lessons from this chess world first, with the aim of encouraging increased online participation in chess tournaments. FIDE’s support for this venture, and in particular in rating these matches, demonstrates exciting possibilities in the world of chess.

This report and the player agreement are available for download. Click on the following links to download pdf versions of the report and player agreement. ChessCube SA Open 2009 Report (pdf). ChessCube SA Open 2009 Player Agreement for online matches (pdf).

Jul 15 2009

SA Open 2009: winners and results


The SA Open 2009 came to a close on Saturday 11 July. Amon Simutowe of Zambia won the SA Open, and also became a FIDE Grandmaster in the same week.

All results can be found on the SA Open 2009 website, and the top 30 players are listed below:

===    =======    =====    ==============
1    1    ZAM    SIMUTOWE, A
2    2    ENG    JONES, G
3    3    NZL    WANG, P
4    3    UKR    KOMAROV, D
5    3    RSA    VAN DER NAT,
6    6    RSA    MOSETHLE, KK
7    6    ZIM    MAKOTO, R
8    6    RSA    VAN RENSBURG
9    6    ZAM    SIMUTOWE, M
10    6    ZIM    MOYO, L
11    6    GER    LOCHTE, T
12    6    RSA    STEENKAMP, J
13    6    HUN    KISS, P
14    6    ZAM    PHIRI, R
15    6    RSA    MEYER, GC
16    16    RSA    MABUSELA, JM
17    16    RSA    WEIDEMAN, HJ
18    16    RSA    DOLE, A
19    16    RSA    DE VILLIERS,
20    16    RSA    SOLOMONS, DM
21    16    RSA    MEINTJES, JC
22    16    AUS    RUJEVIC, M
23    16    ZIM    CHIMBAMU, E
24    16    RSA    REDFORD, SJ
25    16    RSA    KLAASEN, CJ
26    16    RSA    DAVIES, JS
27    27    RSA    MATHE, LD
28    27    RSA    WILLENBERG,
29    27    RSA    NELSON, WJH
30    27    MAW    MBEDZA, R

Congratulations to all the participants. We will be posting pictures and feedback from the event.

Jul 8 2009

News Release: World First: SA Chess Open includes Internet play


Cape Town. For immediate release.
ChessCube (www.ChessCube.com), a South African Internet Chess Company, is the sponsor of the 2009 SA Open, being held in Cape Town. The event has attracted players from all over the world, but a new twist is that three remote players have participated via the Internet from a venue in Melbourne, Australia.  Mark Levitt, the CEO of ChessCube, says, “ChessCube has worked closely with FIDE (the World Chess Federation), to construct a series of rules and procedures to be followed, so that for the first time in chess history, Internet games would be officially rated.”

ChessCube is an online chess service with over 600,000 registered users. The Internet initiative began in Cape Town South Africa in mid-2007 and has expanded to an international operation. North American and Indian players are the largest among 200 countries served by ChessCube’s US-based servers.

FIDE is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the supreme body responsible for the organization of global and continental chess.  It defines the rules of chess, both for playing individual games and the conduct of international competitions.

FIDE calculates the ratings of players. These ratings are used to awards titles such as International Master and International Grandmaster. It also awards the International Arbiter title, which signifies that the recipient is competent and trusted to oversee top-class competitions.

The SA Open’s R90,000 ($12,000) prize fund has attracted a number of players to Cape Town, including Grandmasters and International Masters from around Africa and the world, including players from 11 countries to make this the strongest SA Open ever.

In addition, International Grandmaster Gawain Jones from the UK, International Master Puchen Wang from New Zealand and International Master Mirko Rujevic from Australia, are located at a venue in Melbourne, Australia, under the watchful eye of World Chess Federation International Arbiter Gary Bekker (AUS).

“Originally ChessCube was planning to have a venue in the UK, or Europe”, said Levitt. “That would mean that the players would be in a relatively similar time zone. But the enthusiasm of the players from Australia won out, and despite the difficulty of playing chess from 2.30 am to 7.30am, the players from ‘down under’ have adapted to the grueling schedule.”

The initial photos coming out of Australia showed bleary eyed and tired looking contestants – but with a shift in sleeping patterns, the players seem to have adapted to the unusual times by the later rounds. Possibly this is the first example of jetlag via the Internet?

In South Africa, 300 contestants are playing at the Wynberg Boys’ High School hall. In order to manage the technical complexities  of the online games, the three local players are driven to the high tech ChessCube Headquarters at Century City in Cape Town, where World Chess Federation International Arbiter Simbarashe Murimi from Zimbabwe is overseeing the Cape Town Internet contestants.

“The local players have enthusiastically adopted playing their esteemed Australian opponents via the Internet,” said Levitt. “Only one player so far has hinted at the possibility that the remote opponent may be cheating by using software.  But on hearing that the Australian group are being chaperoned by an experienced hawk-eyed FIDE arbiter, the assertions were quickly dropped. The secret to creating an official FIDE presence in this event was to ensure that both sides had official FIDE authority”.

This form of multi-venue event, using the Internet to connect land-based venues, may be the answer to expensive air travel. Chess is probably the only Olympic sports that can take advantage of the Internet for participation. In the current downturn, the cost of living and high cost of travel has made an impact on International sports participation in general. Africa is probably the region with the most expensive air travel. It typically costs more to travel from one African country to another than to travel to a European destination. An African chess administrator recently lamented that it is cheaper to hold the all-African-chess events in Paris than in Africa!

“ChessCube is planning to expand this form of chess participation in 2010”, said Levitt. “We are planning a multi-country team event – where all the participants compete at a home venue under the guidance of one arbiter per venue!”

An added benefit of this form of competition is that spectators can watch the events from anywhere in the world.  All online matches may be watched by logging on to www.chesscube.com. The tournament continues at Wynberg Boys’ High School.

About ChessCube
ChessCube (www.chesscube.com) was launched in June 2007 from Cape Town headquarters. It has since grown to a community of over 600,000 avid chess players, and continues to grow. ChessCube is an innovative, and award-winning, live chess platform. Mark Levitt, founder and CEO of ChessCube, is four times South African Chess Champion, and many of ChessCube’s board members are avid, strong chess players themselves. ChessCube’s investors include Vinny Lingham of Lingham Capital.

For more information, please contact Mark Levitt ([email protected]) or Sarah Blake ([email protected]).

Jul 3 2009

FIDE rated tournament participation online


ChessCube, the fast-growing online chess community and live chess platform, in association with Chess South Africa (CHESSA), is proud to announce a world first: participants in Australia will compete in the ChessCube SA Open 2009 by logging in to ChessCube and playing scheduled matches online.

ChessCube is the sponsor of the SA Open 2009, hosted by Western Province Chess Association under the auspices of CHESSA. While ChessCube is pleased to continue its sponsorship of this event, this year marks a world-first occasion. Players in another location, in fact another continent, will compete in the SA Open 2009 using the Internet.

As well as players and teams from southern Africa, four players in Australia will participate online using the ChessCube server. The four players, who will be playing from Melbourne Australia, are GM Gawain Jones (GBR – ELO 2550), IM Puchen Wang (NZL – ELO 2453), IM Mirko Rujevic (AUS – ELO 2282) and IM Leonid Sandler (AUS – ELO 2332) on standby. The arbiter in Melbourne is IA Gary Bekker (AUS).

Each Australian player will use a computer to connect to ChessCube and play their game, and will be supervised by the arbiter on that side. Similarly the players paired against them in Cape Town will play their games online using a computer, and will be supervised by an arbiter on this side. The remote players are in contention for all prize money and titles – similar to local players. FIDE have also agreed to officially rate the games played over the Internet.

The SA Open 2009 Tournament will be held at Wynberg Boys High School in Cape Town from 3 to 11 July. The pairings for round 1 will be published on 3 July, with the first games taking place from 18:30 on Friday 3 July. The full schedule will be available online at www.saopen2009.com.

Spectators can also follow the online matches by logging in to www.chesscube.com. The scheduled matches will be announced by ChessCube and on www.saopen2009.com.