Watch a Historic Teams World 4 Player Chess Championship (W4PCC) Final live this Saturday
Final position of the contestants' previous match in the W4PCC

Watch a Historic Teams World 4 Player Chess Championship (W4PCC) Final live this Saturday

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This weekend, two teams will fight for the third online World Championship of Teams Four Player Chess, a Chess.com variant where two sets of pieces play against two sets of pieces to eliminate one set of pieces eliminated. Prizes will be awarded to the finalists: $400 to each of the first place teammates and $100 to each of the runner-up teammates.

The two finalist teams won their way through a field of 32 teams in earlier play to reach the finals. The championship will be determined by two sessions of play in a best-of-12 format. The first team to reach 6.5 points will be declared the champions, and the first six games are Saturday. Up to six games will be played Sunday.

A game of Four Player Chess A game of Four Player Chess.

The top-seeded duo from the 32-team bracket delivered the chalk and reached the finals. GM Dmitry Kononenko (@valger) of Ukraine partners with a Russian chess author, Oleg Barantsev (@Oleg_Barantsev). These two will battle a Norwegian world class sailor Lars Johan Brodtkorb (@icystun) and Abhinav Martha (@abhinavmartha123) of India.

Kononenko and Brodtkorb are returning finalists. Kononenko won both of the first two Teams Championships and Brodtkorb was his partner last year. Brodtkorb is a finalist in every type of championship played so far and has played in all six World 4 Player Chess Championships, missing the finals by one game in both of the inaugural Teams and Solo championships but showing tremendous achievement with his win in the 2020 Teams W4PCC, win in the 2020 Solo W4PCC, and finalist appearance in the 2020 Antichess W4PCC.

The Significance of the Contestant's Previous W4PCC Matches

The red and yellow pieces (first and third to move) have a significant advantage statistically (+2.3 points in an evaluation by the strongest engine created for 4 player chess, TeamTerminator) over the blue and green pieces (second and fourth to move). Many championship matches seem to have been determined by who has the red/yellow colors first. However, in both encounters between Kononenko and Barantsev against Brodtkorb and Martha, blue and green won all ten (10) games! Will blue and green be the desired colors or will these players finally take a win with the Red and Yellow pieces against each other this Saturday?

In this new variant of multiplayer chess, the finalists have explored and improved opening theory. These finalists even have Four Player Chess openings named after them:

"The Valger Defense": 1. h3 d6 h12 NL9

valger defense


"The Icystun-Rezacz Defense": 1. h3 c7 h12 L10

Icystun-Rezacz Defense


About the Commentators

This photo is courtesy of Jairo Alexander Hernandez (@jotahernandezv)

The championship match between these two heavyweight teams will be covered live by popular Chess.com streamers, commentators, and 4 player chess experts. The live broadcast for this weekend is on https://www.twitch.tv/chesscomevents. They will comment on all of the Four Player Chess championship action while explaining the rules and basic strategies to the audience.

Vahan Nalbandyan

Vahan Nalbandyan, a strong Armenian chess player and the world's highest rated Free-For-All (FFA) and Solo (Winner-Takes-All FFA) player in 4 player chess, will be joining Luke Romanko in commentary on Saturday. His team finished in the Quarterfinals of the 2020 Teams W4PCC after taking one game off of Kononenko and Barantsev with the blue and green pieces. He recently started streaming (https://www.twitch.tv/chachachess) and was one of the main commentators for a major FFA tournament that only Top FFA players were invited to.

Luke Romanko

Luke Romanko, the Director of these championships, provided commentary for W4PCC events beginning in 2020. He is a volunteer administrator, an expert in 4 player chess strategy, and a Chess.com Streamer who regularly streams 4 player chess on https://www.twitch.tv/fourplayerchess. He partnered FM/WIM Anna-Maja Kazarian in the 2020 Teams W4PCC, qualifying in the preliminaries.

FM/WIM Anna-Maja Kazarian

Anna-Maja Kazarian is a Dutch chess player and Twitch-partnered chess streamer (https://www.twitch.tv/annamaja) who recently won the 2020 Dutch Online Women's Chess Championship. She started playing 4 player chess May 13 of last year and became quickly familiar with 4 player chess strategy. She commentated for the 2020 Solo W4PCC Finals just four days later. Together, Romanko and Kazarian commentated for many of the 2020 Teams W4PCC preliminary matches and will appear once again on https://www.twitch.tv/chesscomevents this Sunday. 

Championship Format:

  • During the first 12 games, team A will go first in game 1, second in games 2-3, first in games 4-5, second in games 6-7, and so on until going first in game 12.
  • After odd-numbered games, players will rematch each other.
  • After even-numbered games, the tournament director will rotate the players' colors (red player becomes yellow, yellow becomes red, etc.).
  • A tiebreak (if needed) will be played in games 13-17. Game 17 is a sudden-death game, where a draw goes to the player that moved last before the draw.

More Information:

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