What is Plunder Chess?

Hello “Premier Chess” blog readers!  My name is Jeff Knight and I am the inventor of PlunderChess®.  Have your heard of it?

It was a momentary thought… a random idea… a “what-if” concept that surfaced in the right hemisphere of my brain a number of years ago…. and today, materialized!   May I introduce you to PlunderChess®, a new and contagious slant to the age-old classic game of chess.

The objective of PlunderChess® is the same as traditional chess…  to win the game by placing your opponent’s king into checkmate.  However… what makes PlunderChess® different… is upon making a capture, the chess piece doing the capture (or “kill”) is allowed to take on (or “plunder”) added moving capabilities directly from its spoils, and use those newly acquired capabilities on one future move.  By way of example, if a pawn were to capture its opposing queen, the capturing pawn would then be allowed to acquire extra queen moving powers and subsequently, make a one-time future queen move.  Yes, that’s right, in PlunderChess®, a pawn with acquired queen powers may make a queen move!  That’s it! Simple, easy to learn and incredibly fun on the chessboard!

PlunderChess® is available for play BOTH by over the board and by app (iOS & Android).  If you are a student of “Premier Chess” and interested in downloading our app at no cost (normally $2.99) simply send me an email to: plunderchess@gmail.com  with the following in the Subject Line: “Premiere Chess Student … PlunderChess® App Promo Code”.   Be sure to tell me if your device is iOS or Android and we will get you up and playing PlunderChess® with your friends in no time.  By the way, the app will also allow you to test your skills against the artificial intelligence (5 levels of play) and be sure to check out the “mate-in-1” and“mate-in-2” puzzles!

Click here for short video clips that demonstrate plundering in the PlunderChess® game app! https://www.plunderchess.com/app-video-clips

The Growing World of Twitch TV

By Shai Hecker, Operations Intern

Twitch, also known as Twitch TV, was launched in 2011 as an online streaming site. Many people watch videos on Youtube while not as many have transitioned to the growing world of twitch. Twitch is designed for live streaming while most people on Youtube publish their videos after editing them first. Twitch allows the audience to see the host of the stream as their true self, as you can’t edit a live stream.

People who play video games are the main users of Twitch. However, chess players stream their games online as well and they have many followers who watch them as they play.

Twitch also enables the host of the video to interact with their viewers and generate more interaction between them. Youtube generally takes videos and shows the highlights while Twitch shows the whole truth, including the bloopers! People who stream on Twitch do it to connect with their consumers and have real interactions with them.

Evan Rabin, International Master and CEO of Premier Chess streams live on Twitch every night at 8:00 PM except for Wednesdays. There you can watch an experienced chess player play live games, as well as talk about the game. Through Evan’s channel you can learn from an International Chess Master through an interactive chat on the streaming service.

Check out Evan’s Twitch channel here.

Is Chess a Sport? An Introduction of Chess in and within the Sports World

 

By Eliana Bane, Marketing Intern

Chess is a complex game that allows players to develop skills using forethought, patience, strategy, problem solving and remaining calm under pressure. These skills are used in different aspects of life and sports. 

The term sport is defined as, “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.” by Dictionary.com. However, in 1999, the International Olympic Committee recognized chess as a sport. So, is chess a sport or not?

Chess encompasses many of the same ideals playing sports does. There is a clear drive for players to win and to build their techniques to create the best possible chance of winning. In addition, the same idea of “Practice makes perfect” that is relevant in active sports is applicable here as well. The more games players experience against opponents, the more strategies they develop and learn to use, the better the player becomes. 

While chess does not obviously use physical exertion like basketball, football or soccer, chess, the physical exertion stems from the mental exertion from playing. There are many rules that have to be followed and sportsman-like behavior is exhibited. 

Chess was declared a sport in 1999 and then a year later, it was an exhibition event at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Chess officials wished and pushed for it to be part of the 2020 Olympics but their efforts failed. In February of 2019, chess launched a campaign to have it part of the Paris Olympic Games 2024. 

Maury Ahram Blog Post Introduction

Hi everyone! My name is Maury Ahram, and I am a rising freshman at Cornell University and a recent graduate of The Bronx High School of Science. I am a new intern at Premier Chess and am very excited to help out with the teaching and day-to-day operations of Premier Chess.

At Bronx Science, I was a member of my school’s national contending Chess Team, Varsity Indoor Track Team, and Varsity Baseball Team.  I have also won a few national chess championships with my team and won the NYC middle school championship.

I first started to play chess when my school offered lessons in kindergarten. My father, an avid chess player, saw that I was interested in the game and began to teach me at home. I was immediately hooked and started to play in tournaments – although I lost every game at my first one!

I am delighted to help out at Premier Chess this summer and improve my marketing strategies and teaching abilities.

International Chess Day

By Shai Hecker, Operations Intern

We are currently one day away from the Legends of Chess tournament so today we will look at a game played by Viswanathan Anand. The game took place in 2006 when Anand took on prodigy Sergey Karjakin. Karjakin became a grandmaster at the age of 12 making him the world’s youngest grandmaster, but will he be able to hold up against the world chess champion Anand?

The game opens with the Sicilian Defense which is 1. e4 c5. Play then follows up with 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6. What started off as the Sicilian Defense quickly becomes the Sicilian Najdorf opening. Here Anand is playing as black and he plays a6 to prevent Karjakin from placing either of his knights or bishop on the b5 square.

As the game continues both players attempt to gain center control of the board. Karjakin uses his g file pawn to pressure Anand’s knight which is holding a lot of center control. Meanwhile Anand responds by sending down his b file pawn to pressure Karjakin’s knight on c3. Both of these knights are essential to center control as they both have access to squares: d5 and e4.

Then Anand makes a serious mistake as we see pictured on the right. He plays Nc7 allowing Karjakin to take his knight. However, as the game continues it appears that even though Karjakin has more pieces on the board Anand has a better end game.

 

 

 

The game ends like this with Karjankin conceding to Anand. This game shows the importance of playing a good endgame. Anand is able to pull through at the end and beat Karjankin who is up two bishops and a rook. Right now it is White’s move. How would the game end from here if it continued?

 

In addition to the Legends of Chess Tournament which is starting tomorrow, today is International Chess Day. FIDE was established on July 20, 1924. Every year on July 20th Fide hosts chess competitions around the world to celebrate the day. Unfortunately due to the current circumstances there no in person competitions. However, this year there will be an online event for chess players around the world. FIDE’s motto this year is “Teach someone how to play chess.” Perhaps in honor of the day you can teach what you know about the game to someone else and celebrate the international day from home.

Patience and Forethought in Chess and in Life

By Eliana Bane, Marketing Intern

Charles Buxton was a philanthropist and politician during the 1800’s. He famously said, ““In life, as in chess, forethought wins”. 

The game of chess is primarily made up of skill, patience and forethought. Each move is designed to apply pressure in order to win the game. Being able to recognize the strategy of your opponent will allow the player to step-up their pieces to further their own game. Realizing the potential outcomes of moving certain pieces or capturing others allows a player to recognize how to best capture the king and win the game. 

Life is the same way. Each move is designed in a systematic manner. One move with the right piece can set you up for success, while one wrong move can begin a downward spiral that will be hard to save your pieces, and yourself. Forethought is important. Looking ahead and recognizing the potential outcome of actions will create a higher percentage of doing well in the game of chess and life. Patience allows one to slow down and fully review the whole board. It develops a positive attitude towards the future of thinking ahead with clarity and certainty. 

Legends of Chess

By Shai Hecker, Operations Intern

We are still four days away from the Legends of Chess Tournament, but the line up for the competitors just came out this past week. There are ten people in the tournament. Four of the competitors are the semi-finalists from the Chessable Masters tournament while the other six are legendary players who are a bit older then the other four.

One of the legends coming to play is Viswanathan Anand from India. He was the World Chess Champion until Carlsen took the title from him in 2013. Perhaps this will be Viswanathan’s chance to show the younger Grandmaster how a real legend plays.

 

Vladimir Kramnik is representing Russia along with his two younger competitors: Ian Nepomniachtchi and Peter Svidler. Kramnik was also a former world chess champion up until 2007 when Viswanathan took the title from him. Three former world chess champions are coming back together for a final showdown. However, Kramnik retired from being a professional chess player in the beginning of 2019 so he may not be able to compete with someone like Carlsen.

Vasyl Ivanchuck was once ranked the second best chess player in the world, only under Gary Kasparov. However,  Ivanchuck’s game has gone down in the past few years and he may find it difficult to keep up with the younger players.

It seems that all six older players have become legends. Their gameplay is no longer as good as it once was and they may find themselves in trouble in this tournament. However, players like Carlsen make mistakes and legendary chess players know how to capitalize on those mistakes. Although these players may not be as good as they once were, they are still some of the best players in the world today.

Chess and Financial Strategy

Chess involves predicting and anticipating the future moves, mitigating risk vs seizing the initiative. One flawed move in chess and your game could be blown to smithereens. The same happens with financial strategy. One bad move, or one move not taken, can lead to devastating repercussions down the line.

What are the killer moves in personal finance that can help ensure less exposure to the devastating effects of unpredictable events, effects that can destroy even a well-thought-through financial plan? And which tweaks and moves can help mitigate losses in market crashes? And why is cash value life insurance the Queen of financial strategy – the most versatile piece on the board which can change the game by working in concert with the other pieces, or on its own, to execute a devastating game plan.

In partnership with Premier Chess, financial advisors and representatives at the Independence Planning Group are offering from August 2020 a free analysis of your game plan, to help chess fans learn how to play the sharpest financial strategy.

Contact our financial chess gurus now for a free assessment of your strategy and learn ways to achieve the perfect checkmate. Email Paul now and set up a conversation, quote ‘Premier Chess’ in the subject line – paul.wheatley@ipgroup.info.

A Brief History of Chess

By Shai Hecker, Operations Intern

Chess is one of the oldest games that is still around today. Although no one knows the exact location where the game came from there seems to be a consensus that the game originated in India around the 8th century. However, Persia helped shape the game as well. When you take a look at the chess board you’ll notice that each piece is a character. The Islamic world was vast, but they rejected gambling/gaming. However, when they learned of the game of chess they began playing it.

This was during what the historians call the Islamic Golden Age which began around the time of the creation of chess. During this time the Islamic Empires stretched out into Africa, Asia, and Europe. This allowed for the game of chess to spread quickly in the three continents.

By the 9th century the game came to Russia from Northern Europe. The game quickly spread across the country and people happily adopted the new past time. What was great about chess was that it could be played by anyone in any class. This allowed for the game to really grow during these times and spread throughout the world. In 2019 Russia had schools teach students chess instead of having a third period of physical education.

During the later middle ages the game became very popular in Europe, but it was not until 1851 that the first international tournament was organized.  In 1886 Wilhelm Steinitz, an Austrian-American, became the first world chess champion.

Since then the game has rapidly evolved. In 1924 a few years after the first World War France took initiative and established FIDE, The Federation Internationale des Echecs. Over the last century we have seen many great chess players: Bobby Fischer, Emanuel Lasker, Boris Spassky, Samuel Reshevsky, and many others.

It’s incredible to be able to play a game that was created over 1000 years ago. Even after all this time chess is still one of the World’s favorite past times.

How Chess Relates to Human Resources Strategies

By Parker Lee, HR Consultant and PEO Broker

Do you play chess? Do you manage the human resources of a small, medium or large sized company.

If you answered yes to both of the questions above, you might have noticed some similarities in the two. Many of the same skills used to win on a chess board can be used in making the strategic decisions needed to succeed in human capital management. Let’s explore:

HR Department Structure: Setting up the board

In chess, the game is traditionally played with 16 pieces arranged in a preset order. The pawns are lined up in the first row. In the center of the back row closest to the player are the queen and king pieces with bishops, knights and rooks flanking them on either side. At the beginning of each game, the starting layout perfectly protects each piece with another piece. If fewer or more pieces are added to the set-up or if the pieces are not placed in the correct order, then the game simply isn’t “chess”.

Likewise, human resources can be standardized into necessary “pieces”. If left out or poorly arranged, then an HR department simply won’t be playing with the full set of pieces. These components of HR are payroll, employee and executive benefits, insurance, training, documentation and software. All companies with one or more employees have some form of payroll in place. However, companies need benefits to successfully hire and retain a productive workforce. Businesses successfully manage their risk through properly placed insurance, adequate training and guideline documentation such as employee manuals. Software helps keep businesses organized as they grow by electronically streamlining the way paperwork is created, stored and retrieved.

Many businesses operate with less than the full set of pieces. It’s important to note that – just like those who set up their chess board incorrectly – these businesses may be unable to leverage important strategies down the line.

Your Day to Day: Tactics vs Strategy

Working in HR involves days filled with activities of different types. These activities can be organized into two categories. The first category consists of strategic planning which takes an holistic view. Strategy considers what tools to use, how to use them and where they should be applied. The second category is tactical. Tactics involve an acute knowledge of how something is done. It looks at each part of an operation individually, in silos rather than as part of an overarching strategy. In chess, strategic planning allows you to launch an orchestrated attack or take a defensive posture using several pieces. Tactical knowledge in chess means knowing how each piece moves individually (eg: the knight can jump and always moves in an L shape).

In HR, strategic planning means taking a holistic view of the different pieces that make up human resources. By being holistic, a strategic approach allows professionals to consider overall budget and effectiveness. Tactical knowledge in HR is limited to getting individual tasks to get done (eg: making a professionally written job description).

While both strategic planning and tactics are important, being able to step back from tactical obligations and look at one’s work holistically makes strategic planning an essential component of success.

Decisions: Using chess move analysis to make better HR decisions

In chess as in HR, it is easy to make a good move if you know how to play. However it’s harder to make a better move and fairly difficult to make the best move possible given the circumstances. This may be the case when selecting a candidate for a position or trying to determine which broker you will use for your worker’s compensation and employment practices liability insurance. It’s a good idea to think through a decision making process that helps you choose the best decision whenever possible. Chess masters always ask themselves questions like:

“why do I want to make that move?”

“what other moves could I make”

“are those other moves better than my original choice?”

“which of these options is the best move given the circumstances?”

HR professionals could approach their work in a similar way. Asking questions like:

“why am I deciding on this approach, choosing this candidate or buying this service?”

“what other options can I take advantage of?”

“are any of those options better than my original choice?”

“which of these options is the best for my company given the circumstances?”

Chess and HR Strategy for Business

Using a PEO: Castling for Business Owners

There is a special move in chess called “Castling” where you move the castle piece and the king at the same time. It can present an impenetrable defense if used at the right time in the game – instantly protecting your king and freeing up other pieces to be used in your overall strategy. Professional Employer Organizations or PEOs are like the castling maneuver: they instantly take over all of the key pieces of your HR department freeing you up to focus on your core business. Many business owners have turned to PEO providers and have benefited from reduced insurance premiums, better employee benefits and best-in-class HR technology. Like castling in chess provides turn key-defense and frees up other pieces on the board, PEO provides a turn-key HR departments and frees up companies to focus on their core business. Not all PEOs are created equal and some may be a better fit for a given company than others. Just like how castling is a strategic move that can be used at specific times in the game, PEOs are best used when the time is right and when circumstances of the company make it the right choice.

Summary

Managing human resources is like playing a game of chess. The pieces of the strategic game of HR are payroll, employee and executive benefits, insurance, training, documentation and software. Taking an holistic and strategic point of view is necessary to ensure a win in this game. HR professionals looking to make strategic moves should rigorously look at options both inside and outside of a relationship with a PEO provider to ensure that all of the pieces are set up and handled correctly.

If you are a business owner or HR professional, be sure to find a broker that takes an holistic approach to HR based on your company’s needs, looking at solutions both inside and outside of a PEO relationship.

Parker Lake is an HR Consultant and PEO Broker based in Miami with The OIS Group. He speaks to organizations of all sizes across the US about better ways to think about human resources outsourcing, employee benefits and insurance/risk management. Are you considering ways to get better value for your money in the way you business handles HR? If so, contact Parker today on (888) 654-8927 x135.