There is a free app on iOS and Android that combines two age-old games of wits, strategy, composure and luck: Chess and Poker. They call it CHOKER…and even though that was a word already, with potentially lurid connotations, we suppose it’s better than the alternative, “PESS.”
The ways by which chess and poker are combined get a bit complicated, but in basic terms, Choker works like this: you and your opponent start out with a nearly empty chess board, except for one King and Pawn on each side. You are then dealt cards, each with a chess figure on them…and then you start betting which hand has the better pieces. The winning pieces will be allowed placement on the board, and after a few rounds, the game turns into full-on chess. The idea is to win a good enough hand — or pull off a good enough bluff — to hold the better army at battle time.
It would seen Choker was born for esports, and it’s about to come to pass. The Challengers Choker Cup begins streaming early next month, with eight professional chess and poker players in contention over seven weeks.
Contestants include chess whiz Alexandra Botez of Canada, high-stakes poker pro Bill Perkins, and Hikaru Nakamura, World Number 1 ranked Blitz Chess Player. “I can’t wait to see how well the Choker livestream tournament is received from the chess and poker communities,” says Nakamura. “It’s a really novel spin to combine these very traditional and well-known games into something that potentially has even more of a mainstream audience; I’m really looking forward to using all of my skills.”
The Challengers Choker Cup Tournament will be streaming live starting May 7th on chess24.com.