Update On REGIUM Chess
Chess.com has discovered what appear to be inconsistencies in relation to REGIUM Chess

Update On REGIUM Chess

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230 | Chess.com News

Update 3/2/2020 9:24 A.M. PST: The Regium Kickstarter campaign has been suspended.

Chess.com is a company founded by chess lovers. Like you, we get excited at the prospect of bold, revolutionary innovations that will help chess evolve.

Recently, Chess.com was approached by REGIUM Chess who wished to sponsor one of our events, the Speed Chess Championship Final. With that sponsorship came a mailer which many of you received just three days ago.

In that mailer, Chess.com communicated the claims made by REGIUM Chess on their official site and publications. Chess.com also made it clear that while we are happy to partner with new and exciting products like the ones advertised by REGIUM, we are not involved in, and as such do not endorse, the fundraising efforts or manufacturing processes of these products and have no connection to the ownership of these products.

After completing the process of due diligence that is required when partnering with a third-party product, we have continued our research and interactions with REGIUM and have not been able to verify some of the claims made by the company. Some of the apparent inconsistencies related to these claims were independently uncovered by Chess.com, while others have been researched in coordination with our colleagues from other sites around the world including Lichess, who initially reported on some of these apparent inconsistencies Saturday and independently uncovered some of them as well.

The claims Chess.com has been unable to verify relate to both the products being marketed by REGIUM, as well as representatives of the company. Users who received the initial mailer have also received an update from Chess.com regarding the details outlined in this report.

Upon examining the validity of movement on one of the promotional videos released by REGIUM for their automated e-board, Chess.com's experts noticed what appear to be inconsistencies related to the masking and blur effect application of an immobile knight. The following image appears to show part of the bishop behind the knight being clipped into the knight during this process:

Chess.com
Chess.com's Jaron Saturnino demonstrated in this clip what appear to be inconsistencies in the masking process during editing

These apparent inconsistencies were also identified independently by colleagues and Chess.com has conferred with them to substantiate these observations. You may watch the full video here to make your own determination regarding these observations.

Phil Wang, from the site thispersondoesnotexist.com, which uses AI technology to generate faces of individuals who do not exist, relayed information to a Chess.com user regarding portraits linked to REGIUM's about page.

"From my experience, it does appear to be from the released model from Nvidia," Wang said. "I can tell mainly from the distortions around the glasses, as well as the artifacts in the background."

After coordinating with colleagues using publicly-available information, Chess.com has also been able to verify what appear to be misrepresentations by individuals associated with the company in public online forums. It appears that at least one member who is represented on REGIUM's site is not associated with the company in any fashion. Alfonso Belcells, who is labeled as a Full Stack Developer for REGIUM, has indicated to Chess.com that he is not associated with the company in any way and has not been associated with them.

Chess.com artificial intelligence regium nvidia
Apparent inconsistencies include distortion and artifacts typical of AI-derived faces and their features

Chess.com has reached out to REGIUM for a live demonstration of their product, even offering to send a company representative to their offices in order to see the product in person. We have not yet received a response to this request. In addition, Chess.com has not been able to independently verify the titles of some individuals who appear to be associated with the company.

The boards shown in promotional videos are manufactured by Spanish company Rechapados Ferrer. A representative of the company has indicated that the boards pictured in the videos have not been modified by Rechapados Ferrer with any components that would allow for the technology presented in those videos. They also confirm that they have not collaborated with REGIUM on the modification process of these boards.

Rechapados Ferrer Board
The deluxe board from Rechapados Ferrer used by REGIUM Chess in promotional videos

Chess.com has been in contact with vendors, partners and suppliers from around the world who may have been in contact with their customers and users regarding the upcoming campaign and fundraising efforts of REGIUM and we have communicated clearly our inability to verify the claims referenced in the preceding paragraph. Some of these companies are planning on releasing statements and will do so at their discretion.

As with any ongoing process, Chess.com will remain diligent in communicating verifiable facts from our team of experts as well as those verified by third-party experts and will update this release as needed. Chess.com has ended its relationship with REGIUM.

Chess.com believes in transparency and duty of care not only toward our users but also to all chess enthusiasts around the world. While we hope to see an excellent product emerge from REGIUM's upcoming Kickstarter campaign, we encourage all of our amazing users to do their own due diligence and use their best judgment when verifying or validating claims related to any campaign, product or company. 

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