So, let’s start from the beginning, what is or was Chess Clash?
It was an event organised by Chess.com and Supercell as part of their collaboration this September. The collaboration included chess themed skins and challenges in Clash of Clans, chess themed decorations and game mode in Clash Royale, clash themed bots in Chess.com and new chess variant called “Spell Chess” in Chess.com. Chess Clash event occurred September 7th and was live streamed by multiple big-name creators from all of the games. Chess, Clash Royale and of course Clash of Clans. The event commentators were famous streamer Ludvig who has recently gotten into chess and thinks he’s a good chess player and it’s not entirely false (I would still smack him in a 1v1), Danny Rensch, Chief Chess Officer of Chess.com and Clash with Eric, Clash of Clans streamer.
Who were playing and what was the schedule for the event?
There were a total of 16 content creators playing from chess, Clash of Clans and Clash Royale. Famous ones include GothamChess, OJ, Clash with Ash, Anna Cramling and lot of others. They were divided into two groups and each group consisted of four pairs of creators, one from chess and one from clash.
The event consisted of 6 different challenges and final Clash of Clans challenge. Two Clash Royale challenge, one additional Clash of Clans challenge and three chess challenges. Team that got more wins got point from the challenge and all that added up to final challenge where other team got extra time based on the points.
First challenge was hand to brain chess. Chess player is the brain and clash player is the hand. Brains says what piece to move, and hand decides which of those pieces to move and where to move it. Brain can’t give any other instructions other than telling what piece to move.
Second challenge was same, but in Clash of Clans, clash creator says what troops to place and where. This is where the problems started, because the attacks and the bases they attacked were, kind of ridiculous, but more on that later.
Third challenge was 2v2 double elixir mega draft in Clash Royale. Essentially in that game mode, they have a bunch of cards where they take turns to choose and after each one having 8 cards in their deck they play.
Forth challenge 3 minutes puzzle rush in chess.com. So, they had 15 minutes to do puzzle rush and try to get the highest score possible. In one puzzle rush you try to solve as many puzzles as possible and the puzzles get harder the more you solve. You can get three strikes before the run ends. Puzzles are custom chess positions where you have to find a 1 to 10 move combination to win in a position or draw a losing position.
Fifth challenge was in Clash Royale. Normal 1v1 between chess creators and mega draft 1v1 between clash creators.
Sixth challenge was spell chess. 1v1 between chess creators and 1v1 between clash creators.
Finale was in Clash of Clans. Both teams had 15 minutes and additional 2 minutes from each challenge the teams won. In the time they had to get as many trophies as possible. Winner was the team that got the most trophies. Prize pool 50 000 dollars and it was donated to Healthy Gamer foundation.
So, what went wrong then?
First of all, the event was great, and I enjoyed watching it and I wasn’t the only one. The commentators made fantastic job, even though they were all unfamiliar with at least one of the games. First thing that bothered me was the level difference between the duos and in general. I understand, I totally do, that if we want chess creators, we absolutely need GothamChess there, but it’s like we are forgetting that dude is literally IM (International Master) the second highest title you can achieve in chess being second only to grandmaster. His peak FIDE rating is over 2400 which is very respectable number. He wasn’t the only one though, we had SirTag playing, he is a former pro Clash Royale player. The imbalance created interesting matchups, but it was kind of the point of this event, but it could have been more balanced. The second thing that bothered me was the Clash of Clans portion was just electro dragon spam against 3 Town Hall level lower bases, no skill required, as long as you had a proper army.
Everyone who has played Clash of Clans before knows that “e-drag spam” is the most no skill attack there is. Now, I can’t really blame them for doing that, it is after all easier to spam electro dragons than learn some complicated attack like “skelly-bat donut into hero dive lalo” yes, that’s a real thing, in addition they didn’t have too much time to learn those attacks, so it makes sense to do something that is easy to do, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was boring to watch and while in chess challenges, we get to see nice gameplay in the new chess variant and the hand-to-brain chess was really good level in Clash Royale we saw some good gameplay from former pro player SirTag and Oj, we also saw bad gameplay, but it was still entertaining and looked like a Clash Royale. But Clash of Clans gameplay was just bad compared to other games in the event.
My suggestion what should have been differently would be that at least not let them attack against lower-level Town Halls. Even more not let them attack against so called “progress bases” those are bases that don’t have a real base building and every building is just stacked side by side so the player knows what buildings to attack next. Best thing they could have done and what I was hoping, was a real Clan War against each other’s. I hate that they didn’t do that, it would have been so cool, and we would have seen their actual skill level, just like we did in other games. I don’t think it would have been too hard to make that happen.
Joshua Hietala 20N