Anichess, an upcoming chess-inspired crypto game that adds a magical twist to the traditional rules, has raised $1.5 million from investors to further develop the title.

The seed round for Anichess, which parent company Animoca Brands said was oversubscribed, saw a $1.5 million total investment from the likes of GameFi Ventures, The Operating Group, Koda Capital, Bing Ventures, 708 Capital, Asymmetry Capital, and others.

Anichess is expected to launch a playable alpha test in Q1 2024. The funds will be used by the creators to “continue the development of its innovative decentralized chess game, expand its team, and grow its community,” according to a press release.


Animoca Brands is one of the largest investors in Web3 and metaverse-related startups, and is also the publisher behind the metaverse game, The Sandbox.

Anichess will “preserve the core ethos of chess as a predominantly skill-based, free-to-play game,” according to an official description, but will also provide “enriched” gameplay with added layers of strategy via a spell mechanic that consists of offensive, defensive, and counter tactics. Esports-inspired aspects will also be featured.

The game is being developed in partnership with former World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen’s Play Magnus Group and its Champions Chess Tour. Last year, Play Magnus Group was acquired by, one of the internet’s most popular chess sites that offers both online competition and training.

Over 30 chess grandmasters have helped advise, monitor, and test the game, the developers claim. Anichess is aimed at both experienced and casual chess players, as well as strategy game enthusiasts. 

“The strong support expressed by investors validates Anichess’s vision of delivering unparalleled experiences for chess players, gamers, and fans,” said Yat Siu, co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands. “Partnering with is an incredible opportunity to work with some of the leading chess players and influencers across the world and to bring chess into the open metaverse.”


Grant Lee, chief strategy officer of, said that he hoped the partnership would “provide some of the top players and influencers in our ecosystem with a fun and different chess experience, as part of our overall mission to grow the game by presenting chess in new ways to different audiences."

As first announced in August 2022, Anichess will utilize a play-and-earn approach, using sports NFT platform Lympo’s SPORT token to bring together the worlds of chess and crypto gaming.

Anichess isn’t the only Web3 chess game out there, though. Another such game, Immortal Game, raised $12 million last fall and features an optional play-and-earn model along with NFT pieces. It’s also working with French electronic musicians Polo & Pan on a collaboration.

Immortal Game’s Polo & Pan-designed NFT chess pieces unlock new quests, provide access to private tournaments, and offer unique visual animations and audio elements. Holders also gain access to potential perks including concert tickets and curated Spotify playlists.

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