International Antichess Federation

International Antichess Federation

2023 IAF Open European Antichess Event

IAF Amsterdam Antichess Event’s second chapter was a tremendous achievement. Join us on the exciting journey leading to these unforgettable two days and get a sense of how the participants lived it, right here in this blog.

Written by @Xiped & @ZendiScar
Photo credit: instagram @cvisserphotography

After the first edition, @BBLGL and I were optimistic that organizing the second round would be a walk in the park. However, our assumption proved to be far from the truth…

Anxiety and Uncertainty
Just two months before the event, a little over ten contestants were enrolled, many wavering on whether to actually attend. During our weekly online discussions, @BBLGL and I frequently lamented, “If it takes this much effort to secure just over ten players, then this could be the last time we host this event.” Our confidence took a hit. We had believed attendees would flock in, but reality proved different. It became clear that we had to actively promote our event. With me facing a six-month ban, it fell into @BBLGL ‘s hands to drum up attention.
He tried posting links in tournament chats, which seemed effective until Lichess expressed disapproval. BBLGL was warned and told that continuing such promotion would cost him his chat privileges. While forum and discord regulars were aware of the event, many players weren’t, which made reaching out to them challenging.

Was it all Worthwhile?
Absolutely! Thanks to a flood of last-minute registrations, we managed to double the participant count. While last year we welcomed 17 contestants, this time we had 21! A robust roster ensured thrilling games and high drama on the chessboard.
Newcomers like @Pebblerye @drooksh@TenFeetTall@UglySwede@atlasgehirn424, and @hall03 ensured every match was fiercely contested. We were thrilled to see a rise in participation from the younger generation, with several novices eager to soak in the event’s unique ambiance and the strategic beauty of antichess. In the end, everyone enjoyed a good game, with no one feeling overwhelmed due to an opponent’s superior skills. An unexpected visitor, @Tinker_bell, signed up just before the event! She held her own against some tough opponents, giving them a run for their money. Another surprise attendee, @SupWitches, joined us for friendly chats and games. We hope to see him again at next year’s event!

The new generation showing that they are very well capable of playing a good game of antichess!

The weekend
The Tournament Weekend Conditions were challenging to say the least. The 30-round, 2-day event was a real endurance test, with fatigue setting in halfway through the second day. This was the moment when the real antichess champions distinguished themselves from the rest. High temperatures and humidity levels added to the tension. But no significant blunders were made; instead, many matches were intense nail-biters, with both players having less than 30 seconds on the clock. The intense competition did not hamper sportsmanship, and the day often ended with us dining together, truly embodying the spirit of the event.

From left to right: Bertfighter, ZendiScar, neverplayfastanti and UglySwede. Even amidst a hard fought antichess battle ZendiScar can still pull off a little joke.

Last year, @neverplayfastanti emerged as the clear winner. This time, however, he faced stiff competition from an unleashed @Bertfighter. Bertfighter’s incredible score of 26 out of 30 was a truly outstanding performance. Neverplayfastanti also showcased his antichess prowess, playing some of his best games to keep up with Bertfighter. The suspense lasted throughout the weekend, with the winners only being decided in the event’s penultimate round. A single mistake influenced the ranks of the top four players. In the end, @ZendiScar clinched victory with a thrilling game against neverplayfastanti. A winning position was attained, but a critical blunder led to neverplayfastanti’s triumph. The Dutch Antichess Champion and the Open European Antichess Champion were determined by this match, with the players finishing just half a point apart from each other. @drooksh brought a solid performance over the weekend. Opening his games with something different than e3 makes him difficult to prepare for, and it shows! His mastery of antichess was awarded with 3rd place!

Final standings:

Over the weekend a ton of games were played. We try to cover as much as possible in this game study:

This event tested the mettle of every participant, and to see such a tight competition was truly gratifying. Every player, every match, and every moment contributed to the grandeur of this event, making the preparation and organization completely worthwhile. The spirit of friendship and fierce competition mingled beautifully, painting a memorable picture that will surely be etched in our minds for years to come.

The heartening influx of new players and the exciting games they brought to the table promise a bright future for the antichess community. This year’s event has given us the motivation and the learnings to host an even more exciting IAF Amsterdam Antichess Event next year. We look forward to welcoming more participants, making new memories, and continuing our tradition of celebrating the wonderful game of antichess.

From left to right:

@UglySwede@Chessbear63@PebbleRye@AlfredDuffyer@TenFeetTall@Tinker_bell@neverplayfastanti@ZendiScar@BBLGL@Bertfighter@ChessDemon989@drooksh@hall03@DrunkPolo@Xiped and @atlasgehirn42