Immortal Guide: Everything you need to start

Immortal offers an exciting new take on the classic game of chess, offering unique blockchain elements and small but meaningful twists on the well-known gameplay formula that captivated people around the world for thousands of years.

Luci Pri
Luci / Pri

Immortal offers an exciting new take on the classic game of chess, offering unique blockchain elements and small but meaningful twists on the well-known gameplay formula that captivated people around the world for thousands of years. Chess is more popular than ever today, which means there has never been a better time to get involved with the black and white jungle of the sixty-four squares.

Excited to get started with Immortal? Here’s a handy guide and a couple of handy tips and tricks to ease your journey. Follow these steps and you will be experiencing all the features this exciting play-and-earn chess platform has to offer in no time!

Creating your account with Immortal

To get started, you first need to create an account to track your progress and to house your Ageless and Immortal chess piece NFTs. The process is straightforward, quick and free. You can either use your Google account, any email address, or Metamask to connect to the platform. From now on, you can use these account credentials to log in to Immortal and access the game.

The latter also serves as the way to engage with the Marketplace and the unique NFTs that form a core part of the Immortal Game experience. These tokens serve as unique collectibles with tangible value while doubling as interesting gameplay modifiers. This means that it’s a good idea to set up and connect a Metamask account even if you’re otherwise using a different method to create your Immortal account in the first place.

How to create an account on Immortal

Here is how to do it:

  • Once you’ve created your Metamask account, connect it to the Immortal Game website. To do so, look at the top right corner of the screen here, and click on the plus sign on the left side of your username. The “Link with Metamask” option appears. Click it, then follow the instructions.
  • Next, you need to refer your Metamask wallet to the Immutable X network, then finalise linking the two accounts.
  • You can then use Moonpay to buy Ethereum ($ETH) with fiat currencies, then deposit it in your account. This will allow you to purchase Immortal chess pieces on the Marketplace.

You can read more about the account creation process here and a detailed breakdown of connecting your Metamask account is available here. Don’t worry, if you’re not ready to immediately jump into the wheeling and dealing, you can earn a set of Ageless pieces just by playing, which are a great way to experiment with our spin on the classic chess formula.

Basic chess rules – getting started with the Immortal game

Chess is easy to learn and hard to master – but you can already jump in and have fun with a cursory understanding of the rules. The best way to get started with the game is to internalise the basics of the game, then go back and pick up the more detailed techniques later down the line, taking it step by step.

Chess is a strategy game where the two players take turns in making a move on the board, with White starting at all times. The goal in a game of chess is to checkmate your opponent’s king: attacking it with one of your pieces and depriving it of a way of getting out of the line of fire (by covering all other possible escape squares and not allowing your opponent to block your attack or to capture your attacking piece).

How do chess pieces move?

To that end, you have a wide variety of tools at your disposal. Pawns form the frontline of your army: they can generally only move one square forward, but there are exceptions to this. They can move two squares forward on their first move and they can only capture diagonally. Knights are tricky pieces that move in an L-shape (2 squares in one direction and one to the left or the right), and they are the only pieces that can jump over other pieces on the board.

Bishops can only move diagonally, but they can go as far as they would like – though they can never leave their own colour. Rooks move freely on the rows and columns, left or right or up and down depending on your strategy. Finally, the mighty queen combines the movement of a rook and a bishop to have incredible mobility and threat potential all across the board. The king, of course, can only move a single square in each direction – and if it is under attack, it’s a check, and you are obligated to get out of the attack on your very next move.

There are a few special moves and unique considerations to keep in mind – castling, en passant and pawn promotion – but this is all you need to know to jump into your first games and to carve out a space for yourself in the black-and-white jungle! Along the way, you will also discover the special changes and options Immortal brings along to the game to spice things up for newcomers and veterans alike – but don’t worry, we will also detail them below for you.

Quests – a new way to play chess

Immortal’s main innovation on the classic chess gameplay experience comes in the form of quests. The concept should be familiar to you from the world of video games: they are small separate objectives to keep in mind during the course of the game.

Quests are directly linked to your pieces as a game mechanic, but the specific quest that you need to complete may not be related to the piece itself. We differentiate between “micro” quests, which have to be completed with the specific quest-giver piece, and “macro” quests, which are otherwise unrelated to them.

Immortal Quests

Here are a few examples of both, which should make clear how they spice up the gameplay experience and how they promote alternative gameplay strategies:

  • Keep this bishop alive – This is an example of a micro quest. Win the game without allowing your opponent to capture this piece. This will force you to avoid certain opening lines where you’d trade off the bishop, and will also make you reconsider certain sacrificial attacks or trades as the game goes along.
  • Win in material deficit (minimum three points) – This is a macro quest, one that incentivises some serious risk-taking. You will have to sacrifice some material before you set up a devastating attack, or essentially offer piece odds to your opponent by giving away a piece early on and converting the position without taking it back.
  • This pawn must not move at all – This is another micro quest, one which forces careful consideration on your part before the game even begins. Since you have the option to decide where to place your Ageless or Immortal piece on the board, you can plan ahead by placing the quest-giving pawn on a side of the board where you don’t plan to initiate a lot of the action. For pawn-related quests, it’s worth keeping in mind that promoting them to a different piece doesn’t invalidate the quest unless specifically mentioned, and its same properties remain for the rest of the game.
  • No kingside castling – This macro quest will force you to either keep your king in the centre or to always move it to the queenside when you’re looking for that added bit of safety.

The tangible effects of these quests greatly enhance the traditional chess experience, forcing both players to consider alternative strategies they otherwise might not have explored.

If you successfully complete your quest during the game while also winning in the end, you will unlock a set of rewards. For Ageless pieces, this involves working your way through the quest chain as you get yourself a full set of such pieces.

Standard, Ageless and Immortal: three modes, three experiences

The Standard game mode is the equivalent of the classic game of chess, with no quests and special pieces involved. It is a great way to get started and to figure out the basics before you move on to the wilder variants.

Ageless is the free-to-access variant of the Immortal Game’s special conditions. You can get your first ageless pawn by simply claiming it in the menu, and you will unlock the rest of the pieces as you complete their respective quests as you play against human or computer opponents. Yes, these pieces are completely free, allowing you to experiment with the Immortal Game’s ruleset without the need to purchase special pieces. You can also earn rewards by playing this mode, but considerably lower ones than what’s offered in the main mode.

Finally, there is Immortal, the real deal where the biggest challenges and the greatest opportunities await you. This is the main mode of the game. Here, the players are required to hold at least one Immortal piece to participate: Immortals are purchasable and tradable NFTs with specific quests, attached to them, the same way the free-to-earn Ageless pieces are. You will find the community’s strongest players here as they compete for $CMT and $ETH, grinding for the highest spots on the leaderboard.

Immortal pieces come in many different forms: they can be made of different elements for a unique visual style (like Ebony, Marble, Steel, or Stone), and their Purity stat represents the rewards associated with their quests. Apart from purchasing and earning Immortals, you also have a community-driven way of acquiring them: by joining a Guild, the leaders and officers can “delegate” (essentially loan) their pieces to you, earning a share of the rewards you pick up in the process.

You can have up to four special pieces in play at any given time, and you can create separate presets for different strategies – and alternative options for when you play with the White or the Black pieces.

Leaderboards in the Immortal Game

The three different game modes come with three separate leaderboards, each offering different kinds of rewards to the players. Playing bullet chess – 1+0 time control – offers 30% of the rewards you earn by playing games with the slower, 5+0 blitz time control.

Immortal IP Leaderboard

Each week, the best-performing players are awarded a portion of the available prize pool. This can include $ETH, Immortal pieces and $CMT, the game’s proprietary token (CheckMate Tokens), which you will be able to use to fuse and polish Immortals and other future features. The token is listed and comes with an unlimited supply.

You can explore the current standings and the prize pool (and the expected prizes for a certain finish for the week) at any time in the Leaderboards menu for all three game modes. This is also where you will find a history of tournaments on the site.

Tournaments: the ultimate play-and-earn chess challenge

Test your skills against the best and brightest of the Immortal community in our regularly scheduled tournaments! One-off games are well and good, but there is something special about the rigours and the complexities of navigating a group of opponents and trying to do your best over a longer period of time. There’s a natural ebb and flow to chess tournaments and they test your mental strength just as much as they test your skills on the sixty-four squares.

Immortal Game offers the modern Arena tournament format where the action never stops. This format is a byproduct of the internet age, offering non-stop action and excitement over the traditional Swiss and round-robin varieties that suffer from a lot of downtime. The moment your game is over, the system looks to pair you with a new opponent with the closest score, so you can keep on playing over and over again until the clock runs out on the tournament.

Check out their regularly scheduled blitz and rapid arena tournaments, and don’t forget about their Monday Bullet Arena either! The best-performing players will earn Rough-quality Immortal NFTs and a portion of the prize pool, so there is always a reason to come back and test your mettle against the community – and of course, there is much more to come.

The Immortals Marketplace: buying and selling your pieces

The Marketplace is the best place where you can discover a variety of special chess pieces and where you can build the army of your dreams. To purchase an Immortal game asset, you will need $ETH deposited in your Immortal Game account, either via Moonpay or Metamask. Depending on how the specific piece is listed on the Marketplace, you have the option to bid in the auction or to make a direct purchase.

To sell your own pieces, just go to your inventory, click on “Sell an Immortal” and set up your parameters.

Immortal Marketplace

You can filter the Marketplace offerings by piece type, purity and element so that you can quickly identify any piece you’re looking for. You don’t just get the piece – there’s also a bit of gorgeous art to accompany your token!

Once your purchase is finalised, your new piece is instantly available to include in any of your starting lineups.

Tips and tricks to improve at chess

The enduring beauty of the game of chess lies in its incredible richness and complexity. Just like a MOBA, there are so many potential plans and combinations to explore that even a whole life dedicated to it wouldn’t get you through it all – even without the regular patches and shake ups to keep in mind. Getting better at the game will help you rank higher on the leaderboards and to earn more as you play, so there are many incentives to figure out a great practice regimen.

This complexity is also why jamming games over and over again is the least efficient way to learn and get better, even though that is the instinct of many amateur players. Instead, there is a different path to improvement: as a newcomer to the game, you need to learn and understand many new concepts and practise precise techniques. This is so much easier to do away from the rated games when the clock is ticking and the tension is high.

This principle also carries over to the higher levels of play where opening preparation and minor nuances become more and more relevant – but it is especially important for beginner chess players. Those who are willing to accept this fact and able to put in the time always see quick improvement. Here are a couple of tricks to help you climb the ladder in no time:

Practise your tactics (and work on your pattern recognition)

If forks, skewers, pins and discoveries don’t yet ring a bell, you should quickly familiarise yourself with these tactical tools and how to spot them in a live game. They are powerful ways to win material and to limit your opponents’ options in a sharp position.

Up until the high intermediate levels of play, a good understanding of tactics will help you convert advantages and save problematic positions all by itself – and this knowledge remains very relevant among the elite, too, especially when time starts to run low and further complications emerge.

There are also other basics you should hone in on, like checkmating with a lone queen or a lone rook, to make sure you don’t accidentally stalemate your opponent or drop a game-winning advantage in a time scramble. The more thinking you do in your practice session, the more time and mental resources you will have to spare in a real game.

Review your previous games

Every game of chess offers an opportunity to learn. It can be difficult to revisit a tough loss or to spend time crunching through the variations in a straightforward victory, but that is the main way you can improve as a chess player.

Using a coach or a computer engine to look back at your matches is the most efficient way to do so, but even just taking the time to scroll through the moves and considering your alternatives and the thought process you followed, taking into account what you may not have seen during the game, will help you improve your chess understanding and make great strides over time.

Ideally, you won’t make the same mistake twice: patching up the holes in your gameplay like this is the fastest way to get better at the immortal game.

Watch great players

Part of the beauty of our modern, interconnected space is that we have unprecedented access to the minds of the best chess players and coaches in the world. Whether it’s live streams or game analyses on YouTube, tournament broadcasts with pristine commentary or other special events, it’s become easier than it has ever been to gain a deeper understanding of the game.

A key part of learning is identifying new concepts, and there’s no better way to internalise ideas that previously went over your head than to watch a master as they put it into action – while vocalising it to a loyal community eager to learn, no less.

There is now a near-endless selection of excellent content creators available on YouTube and Twitch, including some of the most esteemed members of the Immortal community. It’s the best free education you will ever find – and a great opportunity to supercharge your chess skills!

BlackPool #1 on Immortal

As the general interest in chess continues to grow, so does Immortal's. We are actively involved on the ladders, aiding and promoting some of the best players in the world, playing under the BlackPool flag.

You can find us competing weekly in the Standard and IP Leaderboards, where we frequently top the charts and reap the rewards.

If you are interested in exploring the intersection of chess and web3 with like-minded people join our BlackPool Discord server. It is a great place to share ideas and discuss chess strategies.

If you find yourself interested in playing for BlackPool, reach out to us on our dedicated Immortal discord channel. We are always looking for strong players to join our roster with an ELO of at least 2200.

If you want to dive into the Immortal experience yourself first and enjoy their constantly evolving features, sign up here! Stay tuned and follow our updates on our Twitter, YouTube and TikTok to keep up with the latest developments of BlackPool’s team!