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6,000 people on Twitch just beat a chess grandmaster

If Twitch can beat Pokémon games, it can beat one of the best chess players in the world, right?


Dennis Scimeca

Internet Culture

Posted on Sep 12, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 1:06 am CDT

It took three games and 6,000 people to finally defeat Simon Williams, a British chess grandmaster, but the Twitch community finally got it done.

As a promotion for Pure Chess Grandmaster Edition, a new game released on Friday for PC and Xbox One, publisher Ripstone Games  invited Williams to play Pure Chess on Twitch Friday. The viewers played as the white pieces and voted in chat for what the next move should be. The move that was voted on the most became the next move taken.

The event took place in a four-hour marathon. More than 6,000 viewers participated in total, with up to 600 people simultaneously in chat. Williams took the first game in two hours, played and won the second game blindfolded while the event host read aloud the Twitch audiences’ moves, and  Williams conceded the third game when he realized victory was beyond his grasp.

In 1999, when Russian chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov faced a collection of opponents who voted in their moves via message board, the world failed to secure a victory. Twitch is obviously better than message boards.

You can watch a replay of the Twitch vs. Pure Chase broadcast below.

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*First Published: Sep 12, 2016, 3:58 pm CDT