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10 Ways Clash Royale Is Like Chess
Image: Supercell.

10 Ways Clash Royale Is Like Chess

CHESScom
| 216 | Fun & Trivia

Chess Clash, the ultimate strategy battle between chess and Clash creators, is almost upon us. The event will feature a mixture of chess, Clash of Clans, and Clash Royale challenges, so there's really no telling which team is going to win.

But while all these games are different, they all share a few similarities. In this article, we'll explore 10 ways in which Clash Royale is similar to chess so you'll have a better idea of what to expect this Thursday.

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10. Get The King

In both chess and Clash Royale, smart and strategic play can put a player at a big advantage, but you can't score the "W" as long as both kings are standing.

In chess, you can play the infamous Botez Gambit and lose a queen yet choose to fight on. In Clash, you can drop a princess tower (or even two), leaving your king to fend for himself. But you've still got a chance to win as long as your king is still breathing.

9. Beat The Clock

Time is a huge part of chess, sometimes as important as the board and pieces. The three-minute blitz game is the standard for quick and compelling gameplay. 

Clash also has a three-minute clock to start each match. But because it's a real-time strategy game, not turn-based like chess, the clock runs the same for each player—bad news for the dirty flaggers out there.

If no one sacks the opponent's king tower, then the clock runs down to zero, and the player who has destroyed more princess towers is the winner. If the number of princess towers is equal, the match extends to sudden-death overtime for another two minutes, for a maximum of five minutes.

8. Win, Lose, Or Draw

Everyone wants to win and no one wants to lose, but in both games, you can tie as well. In chess, there are many ways to do it.

In Clash Royale, ties are less common but do happen. If both king towers are destroyed at the same exact second, that's a classic and dramatic draw, which can be as exciting as some stalemates in chess. You can also get a draw in sudden-death overtime if each player destroys a princess tower at the same time. Finally, there can be a draw at the end of overtime if each player's weakest tower has the same remaining hit points. 

7. Get A Rating

Chess players are all too familiar with Elo ratings. The idea is simple: If you win a game, you gain rating points, and if you lose, you drop some. If you increase your rating in chess, you will find yourself being paired with better players, and over time your rating will match your playing ability.

Would you be surprised to learn that Clash Royale uses the same Elo system for its ratings? Instead of points, you get trophies, but the idea is the same. The more battles you win, the more trophies you earn, and you will find yourself up against stronger players before long.

And unsurprisingly, in both games, you can sometimes find yourself staying up way too late while trying to break your rating record!

6. Think Spatially

A chessboard has 64 squares. There is a kingside, a queenside, and the center. To win at chess, you need to keep track of the entire board but also decide which area requires your most immediate attention. 

Clash Royale's battle arena is 32 by 18, for a total of 576 tiles. But there are just two lanes that you need to worry about: left and right. When your opponent attacks on one lane, you need to quickly decide whether to defend on that side or launch a quick counterstrike in the opposite lane. The choice is very similar to chess. 

5. Know Your Pieces

You get 16 pieces to start in a chess game, but there are just six types: pawn, rook, knight, bishop, queen, and king. Mastering chess requires knowing all of their strengths, weaknesses, and capabilities. You can learn how the pieces move in 10 minutes, but it will take a lifetime of study to know when and where to move them.

Clash Royale currently has 109 different pieces (called cards in the game). That may seem like a lot, but it's really much easier. First, you can bring just eight cards to a match, and you can only have four cards in your hand at any time. You choose your cards not only on their individual strengths but by how well they work together too.  

Clash Royale cards also can be broken down into three basic types: troops, buildings, and spells. The idea is similar to chess: You need to know what each card does, but more importantly, you must learn when and where to play your cards on the board.

4. Make A Plan

It's often said in chess that a bad plan is better than no plan at all. That might sound cliché, but there is truth to it. You can be down a boatload of material but overwhelm your opponent with a superior plan. 

In Clash, you have to have a basic plan at the start of a match and be able to adjust as the battle rages on. You probably don't want to start a costly attack early in the game when it will be easily pushed back. But if you time it right later on, even a simple combination of cards can be deadly. 

3. Know Your Style

In chess, there is room for individual style. You may launch an aggressive attack, take pride in your defense, try to steer the game to a slow strategic war, or pick one of many other ways to play.

There are three basic play styles in Clash: beatdown, control, and siege. Playstyle in Clash is even more important than in chess because your style will dictate which cards you bring to each battle. If you're an attacking player in chess, it would be nice if you could swap out a few pawns for some longer-range pieces. Well, you can pretty much do that in Clash, but you have to pick cards that match your chosen style, or you will be blown off the board.

2. Play The Board, Not The Opponent

Chess is a game of perfect information, meaning both players have a complete account of all relevant gameplay factors from start to finish. With that being the case, it is really hard to bluff in chess like you could in poker.

In Clash, there is a brief fog of war before you know which eight cards your opponent brought to the battle. Imagine not knowing in chess how what your opponent's army looks like! While that could certainly be a lot of fun, it would change the game significantly.

Once the cards are played, however, Clash is a game of nearly complete information for those players with good enough memory to track the enemies' cards in hand and their ability to play them. So unless you're against a complete beginner, you have to play the right cards at the right time to have a fighting chance. 

1. Have Fun

In both chess and Clash Royale, it's possible to spend thousands of hours and years of your life mastering all the little things. The best players in each game can earn fame, fortune, and a career just by playing. There are professionals in both chess and Clash who do nothing all day but play and study.

For almost everyone else, though, both of these games are just... games. Don't let a losing streak get to you, and try not to take either success or failure too seriously. Just fire up a match and have some fun. There will be another battle in five or six minutes, anyway. 

Do you think Clash Royale is similar to chess? Let us know how in the comments! 

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