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INTRODUCTION

Beginning December 10th, 2018, Chessgames.com will be hosting the 12th annual Chessgames Holiday Present Hunt. We will give away 64 prizes over the coiurse of this contest—which has been extended indefinitely while we add some more clues and take measures to deal with some cheaters.

HOW IT WORKS

Out of our (approx.) 850,000 chess games, 64 of them will each be the answer to one of our holiday clues. Starting on December 10th, 2018, sixty-four clues will be periodically released on our Clues Page. Each clue is designed such that its solution will point you a specific game page that contains a special winning prize banner.

You never know when a clue might be released, but 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, and if you are both lucky and clever you can solve a clue and claim a prize!

>> TO THE CLUES PAGE

What kinds of clues are there? 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 encounter, check out last year's Present Hunt and the Q&A section below.

EXAMPLE BANNER * DO NOT CLICK If you are the first person to discover the game page referred to by an unsolved clue, you'll see a special banner 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, but before you can claim a prize you must have a registered Chessgames.com username and be logged in. If you don't have an account yet, take a minute to visit our Registration Page. The process is quick, confidential, and 100% free.

THE PRIZES:

  • Over 50 (fifty) 4-month trial premium memberships to Chessgames.com!
  • Several full 1-year premium memberships to Chessgames.com!
  • More special prizes TBA!





example of prize banner

HOW TO PLAY

Throughout the month of December (and possibly beyond) 64 special banners will be placed on specific games pages, each of which is a solution to one of our Holiday Present Huntclues. If you solve a clue and then visit the associated winning game page, just click on the special banner to 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 when all of them have been solved. In total, 64 clues will be published, and each solution will point to a specific game in our database which contains an associated 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!

TOP-OF-PAGE CLUE ANNOUNCEMENTS

In previous years, people went to the Clues Page and pressed "reload" repeatedly in order to be the first to get a shot at the new clues, whenever they went online. Starting in 2015, we decided to give your mouse-fingers a break: every time a new clue goes online, we'll tell you in a prominent red box at the top of every page.

ABOUT THE CLUES

Our Clues Page will present all of the clues currently released. Throughout the month of December (and perhaps beyond), at irregular intervals, new clues will be added. Clues that have been solved will be clearly marked in green, so that you can concentrate on those which remain unsolved.

Some clues are so easy, it will be a race to locate the game and click on the banner. Others are more difficult and may take hours before they are solved. Still others are so impossible that we'd never figure them out in a million years— even though we wrote them. In those cases the eventual winner might have to 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 one or more hints as the contest progresses in order to help encourage potential clue-solvers.

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 Chessforum.

  • 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") and be logged in to claim a prize. You can always get a free account quickly and easily at our Registration Page.

  • ARE ALL SIXTY-FOUR BANNERS ONLINE FROM THE BEGINNING?

    No. Each winning banner appears on a game page only when its associated clue has been released. By the end of December, all 64 banners should be online, unless the Present Hunt is extended for some reason.

  • AT WHAT RATE ARE THE CLUES RELEASED?

    Clues are either released at random, or else at the discretion of Chessgames.com Administration. The average rate is about 3 clues a day, but it's possible for a day to go by without a single clue, or for two clues to be 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 a range between 1,000,000 and (roughly) 1,900,000. Due to this fact, most (if not all) 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 page with the "You are a winner" banner—and click on it—wins the prize. 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 one or more hints to facilitate its solution. If you want to practice solving clues, check out the interesting samples from previous years: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, and and 2016 and 2017. pP>

  • 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 process even the hardest cryptograms and give you an answer in seconds. 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 minimally visible to all registered and logged-in users, 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 premium account's expiration date.

  • 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, typically during our "Dear Santa Contest" which occurs in the leadup to Christmas Day.



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:

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Images of the prizes are provided only as examples; the true prizes received will not necessarily look exactly like the advertising photographs.
  5. 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.
  6. A sponsored prize is any prize other than the 4-Month Chessgames Premium Membership. If a member wins two identical sponsored prizes, Chessgames will substitute a different sponsored prize from the remaining prize pool, at its discretion. If there are no remaining sponsored prizes, Chessgames will substitute a Chessgames Store gift certficiate, chess T-Shirt, or a 1-year premium subscription.
  7. 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 member.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.


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