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NYC Start-up, Shindig, Hosts Grandmasters in First Ever Online Video Chat Chess Tournament
Jun 16, 2011 (07:06 PM EDT)
NEW YORK, June 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Fifteen Master chess players competed in a first of its kind online chess tournament yesterday. The players competed with each other live from locations ranging from Brooklyn to Budapest, enabled by an online platform that combines video chat with a 3D interactive chess board. NYC start-up Shindig created the ShindigChess.com website which allows chess pros from all over the globe to play chess together as naturally as if they were sitting at the same table. The $1900 purse was won by Grandmasters (GM) Robert Hess, Baadur Jobava, Giorgi Kacheishvili, Alex Lenderman, Bartosz Socko.
Shindig's next tournament is a scholastic, city-wide tournament with NYC's Chess-in-the-Schools.
Online chess is a burgeoning field appealing to millions - competitive and casual players both. But many complain about the anonymity of playing online.
"I most enjoyed being able to see my opponents thinking, like I do when we are physically together," said GM Kacheishvili.
"Online one never really knows who your opponent is or whether they are using chess programs to gain advantage. I felt much more comfortable seeing my opponent," said IM Irina Krush, "and I enjoyed catching up with players I hadn't seen in a while."
Other Grandmasters saw the platform's potential for teaching. "Many of my students are in the States and there is no good way to give them regular instruction. I see this being a great tool for connecting with aspiring Chess players," said GM Baadur Jobava, currently ranked as one of the top 40 players in the world playing from his home in Kiev, Ukraine.
Tournament highlights of are posted at the ShindigChess YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/ShindigChess ) and include Jobava vs. Krush (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_DCDOo9AI8), Kacheishvili vs. Ginsburg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AU1tp9jWy6I), and Gelashvili vs. Trajkovic (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDQiFl9d0Dw).
"Until Shindig, getting so many Masters together would involve great expense of time and money," company founder Steve Gottlieb said. "Our platform allowed them to have a great competitive experience without ever leaving home. The same platform now allows casual players to play with one another across town or across the country."
Tournament host Shindig is engaged in reinventing video chat. In addition to its video chat chess site the company recently launched alpha versions of online video chat Tarot reading and online play of the card game BS at ShindigTarot.com and ShindigBS.com.
The company's main product suite, still under wraps is geared to enabling large scale video chats where everyone in a large group can talk to one another naturally, moving in and out of individual conversations without restriction. The company has a number of pending patents on its technology.
Shindig is a NYC start-up committed to unleashing the unrealized potential of video chat through allowing for free flowing engagement of all participants in a group chat. Current video chat ignores the fact that staring unremittingly at the person you are talking to is not natural and the feeling that they are doing the same back at you is worse. Shindig technology is all about making video chat natural by tailoring the application to particular circumstances. The venture backed company was founded in 2009 by Yale College, Harvard Law grad Steve Gottlieb whose prior entrepreneurial success includes building TVT Records, one of the most successful independent record labels in the US, a company with over 25 Gold and Platinum releases to its credit.
For further information contact Megan Hike at 212 699 3650