Is Italy taking chess to the next level?

The Mitropa Cup Hybrid 2021 has started and although the games have shown how players haven’t lost their habits playing standard chess, let’s focus for a moment on the venues.

As this edition is still influenced by the global pandemic, Federations have been asked to find a suitable location for the event. This means having all players together in a single room equipped with computers, a high-efficiency internet connection, and any other facility that can make players comfortable.

As the first round started, people began to share pictures of the venues and the Italian teams seemed to be playing in some kind of spaceship or futuristic space.

They all shared the same room with individual stations and bright colors that popped from every perspective. So were they playing from some kind of NASA station? No, they were in the QLASH House.

As chess is getting closer to the esports field, the Italian Chess Federation has signed a partnership with the national leading esports company. After all, we’re talking about e-chess!

Then, what’s the QLASH House?

The QLASH House is one of the largest gaming houses in Europe. Equipped for any activity, not only for the training of gamers but also for the needs of the staff: digital whiteboards, screens, projectors, the ability to record games, view them, observe every move of individual players. On this occasion, gamers have left the floor to chess players allowing them to play in the best location they’ve ever had.

QLASH house

There is also a proper stage, with lights, desks and cameras, for a full broadcast experience for events and tournaments, as it is happening for the Mitropa Cup as there’s a live streaming for the Italian audience.

Sneak peek: In the QLASH House, you can also find a gym! It’s very similar to an amusement park for every computer/esport geek!

And more in general what’s QLASH?

QLASH was founded in 2017 from Luca Pagano e Eugene Katchalov. It is a 360° media company, in a few years more than 100 esport pro players and influencers have joined QLASH, competing in international tournaments and producing engaging content for millions of followers.

In 2020 as QLASH has grown and has enlarged its limits, it got more and more interested in chess. Shortly after, at the beginning of this year, QLASH announced the QLASH_Chess team: a group of top-level Italian chess players who will play, comment and promote chess among the internet communities.

So far, QLASH has spread in several countries such as Spain, Egypt, Ukraine, and Malta.

Italy Mitropa

How did a national chess federation and QLASH meet?

The QLASH_Chess team is composed of players who are or have been playing in the Italian team and as they were so passionate about this e-chess project, it didn’t take long for the news to get to the newly elected President Mr. Luigi Maggi’s ears.

Arranging the Italian section of the Mitropa Cup in the QLASH_House was the best choice: large spaces, high-efficiency computers, and a team of people working at their best to ease the players’ hard duty.

We can all agree by saying that so far Italy has won the prize for the best location, at some points, it could be also suggested to host all the hybrid chess events in the QLASH_House!

by Nadia Ottavi