Canadian International Master Eric Rosen took a step closer to CHOKER Cup glory by defeating fan favourite Raffael Mr Chess Santos to book his spot in the final, with next weeks match between Bill Perkins and Alexandra Botez providing the opposition…

By: Andrew Burnett

With the mixed mindsport CHOKER combining the best elements of both chess and poker, the stars of both worlds are battling to decide who will play 5-times US chess champ Hikaru Nakamura and be crowned CHOKER Cup champion.

Yesterday’s semi-final once again had well-known poker pro Jeff Gross and London Chess Classic organiser, IM Malcolm Pein复古传奇sf, in the commentary booth as two of the most popular chess streamers matched up.

Rosen has 32,000 followers on Twitch TV and 80,000 on YouTube, those numbers on a par with Brazil’s ‘Mr Chess’ – Santos having 78 thousand followers and 8.6 million views on YouTube.

Both had won through opening round matches, as had Bill Perkins and Alexandra Botez, with highstakes poker amateur Perkins taking out Matty Staples 3-2 in a nerve-wracking battle.

The chess players’ turn last night saw the first game drawn in a frantic time scramble – but before we get into the action, if you’re not sure of the rules here’s a quick rundown…

  • Players are dealt 5 cards each, from a 44-card pack, with a chess piece on each card
  • The betting rounds occur after 2, 4 and 5 cards are dealt.
  • Once the betting rounds are completed (if neither you nor your opponent has folded) you place the chess pieces you have been dealt in specially-marked zones.
  • After that, it’s a traditional chess game, the winner taking down the pot, checkmate – or CHOKEMATE! – the ultimate goal, though not the only way to win.

Back on the CHOKER board, and the lack of poker experience showed when both players committed their stacks with relatively weak ‘hands’, but Rosen got lucky with a promotion.

The two rooks outgunned the two knights and within two moves – 1.Ra8 Nfe6 2.Bb6, with 3.Rh8 to come, winning too much material - it was first blood to the Canadian chess maestro, the matches all best of 5…

复古传奇sf The pressure of the clock told on Santos in the next big hand, running out of time to allow Rosen to escape from almost certain defeat, and the chess International Master swiftly took advantage of that by winning the next game too…opening with the CHOKER Cup’s first castling, here avoiding mate in 1.

复古传奇sf Only Bill Perkins had fought back from a 2-0 deficit so far in the CHOKER Cup, but that was the task Raffael had in front of him now.

Unfortunately for the young Brazilian star, lady luck wasn’t on his side, Rosen following some of the brand-new CHOKER strategy being discussed over the past few weeks.

See if you can calculate how Rosen, playing as White, finished off his opponent in the following position (answer at end of article).

One more hand, a rather lop-sided chess game and Raffael’s stack was history, Eric Rosen marching on to the final with another emphatic victory!

That final, as mentioned, will see him take on the winner of Bill Perkins and Alexandra Botez, and if you want to check out Botez’s CHOKER skills, read about her win over wildcard Alessio Gallucci here.

If you fancy a go at CHOKER yourself, check out the free to play app links below to get started…

Answer to chess puzzle:

复古传奇sf Rosen (White) played 1. Bxg5 and Black couldn’t recapture immediately because he would lose his queen after 1…fxg5 2.Qxa6.

Instead he played 1…Qa7+ but after 2.Kg2 fxg5 3.Rh1 he couldn’t find a decent defence to the twin threats of Rh8+ and Rh7.

3…Qd4 is only a temporary defence, 4.Rh7 Qf6 5.Qxf6+ exf6 6.Rh8+ picking up the rook on c8 and winning easily for White.

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