You’ve never played chess like this before.

In a new crossover, chess video game Immortal Game and electronic musicians Polo & Pan have teamed up to put a lively new twist on the 1,500-year-old board game.

The tie-up will see the launch of a limited edition collection of 500 unique digital chess pieces sold as NFTs on Ethereum scaling network Polygon.

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Immortal Game is a fast-growing Web3 project of the “play-to-earn” genre, offering players rewards in the form of its CMT tokens for winning games and moving up the game’s leaderboards.

The French electronic music group Polo & Pan was formed in 2013 by Paul Armand-Delille, also known as "Polocorp," and Alexandre Grynszpan, better known as "Peter Pan."

The duo’s music boasts a distinctive style that fuses electronic music with tropical and world music elements. The co-designed chess pieces also draw on the same playful and vibrant aesthetics of the artists.

A variety of uniquely designed chess pieces.
Polo & Pan, Immortal Game chess pieces. Source: Immortal Game/Polo & Pan.

By leveraging Web3 technologies, Immortal Game infuses strategic depth into the timeless game of chess. Known as “Immortals,” the unique tokenized digital chess pieces at the core of the game are linked to optional quests promoting specific styles of play.

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The Polo & Pan-designed NFT chess pieces unlock new quests, provide access to private tournaments, and offer visual animations and audio soundtracks from the artists.

Holders will also gain access to real-world perks, including concert tickets, curated Spotify playlists, the opportunity to play online against Polo & Pan, and voting rights on future collections.

The queen chess piece in the Polo & Pan and Immortal cross-over.
Queen chess piece from collection. Source: Immortal Game/Polo & Pan.

"Our vision is that chess is more than just a game. It's a cultural phenomenon and a platform drawing inspiration from music, arts, sports, and entertainment," Thomas Zaepffel, co-founder and CEO of Immortal Game, told Decrypt.

"We're thrilled to be working with Immortal Game on this exciting new project,” said Polo & Pan in a prepared statement. “As longtime fans of chess and gaming, we're excited to bring our music and aesthetic to this new digital medium.”

Chess goes Web3

Immortal Game seeks bring chess to a wider audience, fostering a unique intersection for artists and gamers in the digital realm.

"Online chess has been in existence for 15 years, and our aim is to reinvent the online experience for players through the use of blockchain and NFTs," said Zaepffel. "We also intend to foster a sense of community, something that Web3 facilitates."

Digital chess has an enormous audience, with an estimated 800 million players globally and 20 million games played online daily across various platforms, explained Zaepffel. The game's popularity soared early in the COVID-19 pandemic and was further propelled by the Netflix series "The Queen's Gambit," whose producer Scott Frank now advises Immortal Game.

Chess has gained something of a cool factor too, with numerous Twitch channels live-streaming games featuring stars, some of whom are still very young. One such star is 17-year-old Elliot Papadiamandis, an international chess master who has served as an ambassador for Immortal Game for a year.

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"This platform isn't exclusive to professionals; anyone can play and potentially earn money," Papadiamandis told Decrypt. “Additionally, the introduction of quests, especially in Blitz games, is a novel feature that enhances the gaming experience, making the fun of chess accessible even to those who may not be experts in the game.”

Beginning last Friday, collectors and fans have one week to sign up on an allowlist on Immortal Game's platform for the opportunity to acquire these unique Polo & Pan co-designed digital assets. The official sale kicks off on May 19, with 400 NFT pieces priced at $39 apiece and 100 special-edition pieces at $399 each.

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