Between December 10th and December 24nd, 2013, Chessgames.com will be hosting the 7th annual Chessgames Holiday
Present Hunt. We will give away 64 prizes over these 14 days.
The 2012 Chessgames Holiday Present Hunt is sponsored by
New in Chess,
The Sunday Times Chess Column,
and The Chessgames Store.
HOW IT WORKS
Out of our 700,000+ chess games, 64 of them have been specially selected to display a prize-banner at some point during the month of December. Between December 10th, 2012
and December 24th, 2012, sixty-four clues will be slowly released to the public on our Clues Page. These clues are designed to help lead you to the
game pages that contain the special winning prize banners.
You never know when a clue might be released, and when one is available and unsolved there will be a prominent message
at the top of every page on the site. So simply use Chessgames a lot this December, and if you are both lucky and clever
you can pounce on a clue to claim a prize!
>> TO THE CLUES PAGE
What kinds of clues are these? Some are visual, some are anagrams, some are mathematical, some are in the spirit of crossword clues, some require a knowledge of chess
history, and some are just plain bizarre. To get a feel for the kinds of clues that you will have to cope with, check out last year's Present Hunt and Q&A section below.
If you are the first person to discover a game
page referred to by the clue, you'll see a special banner ad that reads "Congratulations, you are a winner!" Simply click on this banner to claim your prize.
NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY; you do not have to be a premium member of Chessgames to participate. However, before you can claim a prize you must have a registered Chessgames
username. If you don't have an account yet, take a minute to visit our Registration Page. The process is quick, confidential, and 100%
This year we are proud to offer several premium prizes:
The Reykjavik II Series Chess Set -
A full tournament-sized chess set, it features a 3.75" King with a
1.75" diameter base. The chess pieces are hand carved by our master
artisans and crafted out of the highest grade woods. The chess pieces are
heavily weighted with luxurious billiard cloth base pads and a beautiful
finish. The design of the Reykjavik II chess set is an exact reproduction
of the chess set used by the legendary American Grandmaster Bobby Fischer
when he won the 1972 World Chess Championship against the reigning World
Champion Boris Spassky in Reykjavik, Iceland. This prize is sponsored
by The Chessgames Store,
supplier of all types of fine chess merchandise.
x4 lucky winners
Techniques of Positional Play
by Valeri Bronznik and Anatoli Terekhin.
Opening preparation is essential, but for aspiring players understanding the middlegame is even more important.
Techniques of Positional Play, an improved edition of a Russian classic, teaches amateur chess players 45 extremely
effective skills in a crystal-clear manner.
Ukrainian International Master Valeri Bronznik lives and works in Germany. He has written a number of highly acclaimed
books on chess, such as '1.d4-Beating the Guerillas'. Anatoli Terekhin is a well-known Russian chess trainer. He leads a
chess academy in Perm.
"I am absolutely convinced that every (really every!) chess player will learn a whole lot from this book. For me personally it is one of the best chess books on the market today."
-- Martin Rieger, SchachWelt
"One of the best books on positional play you're ever likely to read." -- Paul Kane, Manchester Chess Federation.
x3 lucky winners
Books selected and signed by Times Chess correspondent Ray Keene.
"Study of Nimzowitsch's games will be of immense benefit to the chess student who wishes to follow a thematic strategic
line. By doing so, it is possible to prepare such plans for one's own chessboard battles and then carry them out, secure
in the knowledge that the intellectual spadework has been done well in advance by a master of the art." -- Raymond
The chess correspondent to The Times is grandmaster and former British Champion, Ray Keene. He has written over 160
chess books as well as being a regular presenter of chess on Thames Television. In 1985 he was awarded the OBE for
services to chess.
Ray has personally selected and signed 3 chess books to offer as prizes in this year's Chessgames Present Hunt, starting
with his acclaimed Aron Nimzowitsch: A Reappraisal shown above.
HOW TO PLAY
64 special banners will be placed in games in our database throughout the month of December. If you find one of these games, just click on the special banner and claim your
prize. It's that simple!
You can see an example of what you should look for in the graphic to the right.
Clues will be released at irregular intervals on our special Clues Page, starting on December 10th, and ending on December 24th.
In total, 64 clues will be published, each one referring to one of the special games in our database containing a prize banner.
To play the contest, just visit our Clues Page regularly and try to find the winning games. Or, poke around randomly, and
if you're lucky enough you might stumble upon a prize banner. Good luck!
NEW FEATURE: TOP-OF-PAGE CLUE ANNOUNCEMENTS
In previous years, people went to the Clues Page and pressed "reload"
like maniacs to be the first to get a shot at the new clues, whenever they went online. This year we are going to give
your mouse finger a break, and tell you in a big red box at the top of the page, every time a new clue goes online. All
you have to do is use Chessgames as you normally would, and keep your eye on the top of the page for announcements of
new clue releases.
ABOUT THE CLUES
Our Clues Page will present all of the clues currently released. Throughout the month of December, at irregular intervals, new clues will be added
to this page. Clues that have been solved will be clearly marked in green, so that you can concentrate only on the clues that remain unsolved.
Some clues are so easy, it will be a race to locate the game and click on the banner. Some clues are very cunning and may take
hours before anybody figures them out. Some clues are so impossible that we'd never figure them out in a million years, even
though we wrote them. In those cases the winner will likely stumble upon the game by accident. If a clue proves to be too
obscure for even our most ingenious members, we may (at our discretion) add more hints as the contest progresses to help
encourage the location of the winning banners.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
The following questions are the most commonly asked questions about this contest. For more thorough details, refer to the Official Rules, found at the bottom of this page.
We hope that this avoids any confusion, but if you still have questions, feel free to ask us at the Chessgames
- WHO CAN PLAY?
Anybody at all, of any age, from any country, excluding: employees of Chessgames.com, the contest sponsors, and such employees' and sponsors' immediate family members and
persons with whom such employees are domiciled.
- DO I HAVE TO BE A PREMIUM MEMBER TO WIN?
No, but you must have an account (a "username") to claim a prize. You can get a free account quickly and easily at our Registration Page
at any time.
- ARE ALL SIXTY-FOUR BANNERS ONLINE FROM THE BEGINNING?
No. The banners will be placed on the game pages only when the clues are released. By December 24th all 64 banners will be online.
- AT WHAT RATE ARE THE CLUES RELEASED?
64 dates and times were selected in advance between December 10th and December 24th, by a computer, completely at random. The average rate is 4 clues a day, but it's possible
for a day to go by without a single clue, or for two clues released mere seconds apart.
- CAN I WIN MORE THAN ONE PRIZE?
Yes. If you win one prize, keep on playing, and you might win another. However, if any single member wins five prizes, he
or she will immediately become ineligible from winning any further prizes until next year.
- WHY DO YOU RELEASE THE CLUES AT IRREGULAR INTERVALS?
To give everybody, from all the time zones across the globe, a fair chance at being online when a new clue becomes available.
Plus, we don't want you to know when they are coming ;-)
- WHAT'S THIS ABOUT 7 DIGIT NUMBERS?
This is very important if you want to win. Every game in our database has what we call a "game ID", which is a 7-digit
number. Currently they are all in the range of 1000000 and (roughly) 1700000. Due to this fact, many (if not most)
clues will lead you to a solution which is a 7 digit number. Once you know this game ID, finding the game is simple.
Two methods: (1) You can type the number into the "EZ Search" at the top of our homepage, or (2) visit the URL
chessgames.com/ followed by the game ID. For example, to get to game 1000000 (the very first game in our database) you
would go to chessgames.com/1000000.
- YOUR CLUES MAKE NO SENSE!
That's not true--we really want you to solve them! Some of them make perfect sense, but some are highly obscure. Not
everybody will be able to solve every clue, but some of them are so easy we call them "race clues" because the first
person to locate the banner and click wins. Be sure to read the tips at the bottom of the Clues
Page. If a clue proves to be too hard for anybody to solve, we may add further hints to encourage its solution. If
you want to practice solving clues, check out the crazy conundrums from previous years: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.
- WHAT ARE SOME WEBSITES THAT MIGHT HELP ME SOLVE THE CLUES?
Chessgames.com will be the most important site to use for all clues, but
being skilled with Google.com can also help a lot. Some of the clues will
involve anagrams, for which the Internet Anagram Server is an
indispensable resource. For questions of history, art, mathematics, or a number of other subjects that our clues reference, Wikipedia will surely come in handy. The Cryptogram Solver will chew on the hardest cryptograms and give you
an answer in seconds. Having a good dictionary will also be
an asset. In recent years, we've found that some solvers have been using the website
TinEye can help you figure out what an image is.
- ARE WE ALLOWED TO DISCUSS THE CLUES WHILE THEY ARE STILL UNSOLVED?
Sure, if you want to. The Kibitzer's Cafe is a popular place to do that.
- I'M A PREMIUM MEMBER AND I'VE DISABLED ADVERTISEMENTS. CAN I SEE THE PRIZE BANNERS?
Yes: the prize banners are visible to everybody, regardless of preference settings.
- I'M A PREMIUM MEMBER; WHAT HAPPENS IF I WIN A FOUR MONTH MEMBERSHIP?
Four extra months will be added to your account.
- I'M A LIFETIME MEMBER; WHAT HAPPENS IF I WIN A FOUR MONTH MEMBERSHIP?
Sorry, your four extra months cannot be added to your account. However, Chessgames will award these prizes to randomly
selected non-premium members during our "Dear Santa Contest" to be announced later in December.
OFFICIAL CONTEST RULES
The Chessgames.com Holiday Present Hunt ("the Contest") is a game of
skill and luck available to the general public. It costs nothing to play. The official rules are listed below:
- NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. To claim prizes, you will need to have a registered account at Chessgames.com. (If you do not have an account, visit our Registration Page and sign up; it's quick, anonymous, and free.)
- The prizes are not redeemable in cash and must be accepted as awarded. By claiming the prize, the winner authorizes the use, without additional compensation, of his or
her name and/or screen-name for promotion and/or advertising purposes in any manner and in any medium.
- Chessgames.com retains the rights, at its absolute and sole discretion, to make substitutions of equivalent kind or
approximate value in the event of the unavailability of any prize or component of the prize for any reason whatsoever.
- Images of the prizes are provided only as examples; the true prizes received will not necessarily look exactly like the advertising photographs.
- To give everybody a good chance at winning, a limitation of prizes is in effect. If, at any time, a single member wins five (5) prizes, he or she will immediately become
ineligible from winning any further prizes.
- A mailed prize is any prize other than the 4-Month Chessgames Premium Membership. If a member wins two
identical mailed prizes, Chessgames will substitute a different mailed prize from the remaining prize pool, at its
discretion. If there are no remaining mailed prizes, Chessgames will substitute a Chessgames Store gift
certficiate, chess T-Shirt, or a 1-year premium subscription.
- In order to be eligible for any prize you must supply us with a working valid email address. If you register to our
site with a bogus or nonfunctional email, we will be unable to contact you, and your prize may default to another
- If a clue is not solved in a timely fashion, Chessgames.com may offer extra, alternate clues to encourage its
solution. This may or may not be done by Chessgames.com, at its sole discretion. Any prizes left unclaimed at the
termination of the Contest will be void and not awarded.
- Four Month Premium Membership prizes are non-transferable. They will be activated upon the account that clicks the
prize-banner first, and cannot be given to another member.
- In the event that a Four Month Premium Membership is won by a user who is already a premium member, the expiration
date on the winning account will be extended by four months. In the event that a Four Month Premium Membership is won
by a user who has a lifetime subscription to Chessgames, the prize is void.
- The use of web spiders or other automated software systems designed to spider chessgames.com web pages
for purposes of the Contest is strictly prohibited. Anybody discovered using such techniques to find the gift-graphics will be
disqualified from the Contest and the prize(s) won will be returned to the pool. However, the use of public search engines
(e.g. Google) is permitted and encouraged.
- The Contest is subject to the laws of the United States and the State of Florida. This contest is void where
prohibited by law. Employees of Chessgames.com, the contest sponsors, advertising and promotional agencies and their
respective affiliates and associates and such employees' and sponsors' immediate family members and persons with whom
such employees are domiciled are excluded from this contest.