Brain Clash

Coming back soon

  • The tournament

    This year, the Polychamps will take place in a different format than previous years. The familiar online Lichess tournament will still take place, but at the same time, we will organize an OTB chess tournament between the strongest players of both universities. Taking place in the Dozentenfoyer at ETH, 8 players from each university will play a classical match to decide which university is the strongest! At the same time, all players from both universities can participate in the online tournament to battle it out in a blitz format and claim the title of Polychampion in the online format. Can ETH hold their title and beat EPFL once again? Or is it EPFL this time that will beat ETH? We will find out...

    Follow the OTB games now live.

  • Organisers

    This tournament is organised jointly between SKETHZ (ETHZ) and La Dame Blanche (EPFL). It is kindly supported by ASK Reti Zürich.

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  • 13:30-14:00 Opening Speeches
  • 13:30-17:40 Livestream
  • 14:00-17:00 OTB games
  • 14:15-15:45 Online tournament
  • 18:00-18:30 Award Ceremony

How to register ?

Follow these simple steps to take part in the tournament.
It will be heaps of fun and it's free, so don't hesitate to register.


1. Create a free account or login on Lichess

2. Join your university Team

Go to the links below and click on the button as shown in the image. Please indicate your full name and university email address when joining any team:

It might take a few hours to get accepted in the team. Once it's done, you should receive a notification.

Be careful: we created new lichess teams for this tournament, these are not the same as last time.


3. Register to the tournament

Simply join the tournament on the tournament page. Once you've done this, you're all set! If you have any questions, ask your questions in the tournament chat, refer to the rules or contact us directly here.

4. Play

On gameday (5th of November), be sure to connect on the tournament page a bit before 14:15 CET. Then relax and take this opportunity to watch the Livestream. Once it's go time, let yourself be guided by the website. Good luck!

Online participants








As always, the tournament will be livestreamed on Twitch. We will mainly focus on the OTB tournament, but also keep an eye on the online tournament.

GM Sebastian Bogner

  • Switzerland
  • FIDE rating: 2548

Livestream Schedule

  • 13:30-14:00 Welcome
  • 14:00-17:00 Tournament commentary
  • 17:00-17:30 Event aftertalk
  • 17:30-17:40 End

Rules OTB tournament

How are the players selected?

Both EPFL and ETH organize a qualifier tournament at their universities for the selection of the players. The best players, including at least 2 women, will qualify for the tournament.

What is the time control?

The time control for the games is 60 minutes. For each move played, an additional 30 seconds will be added to the clock.

Will the tournament be FIDE rated?

Yes, the games will be attended by an arbiter and the games will officially count for the FIDE rating of the participating players.


  • Noah Fecker
  • Theo Stijve
  • Matej Jusup
  • Mateo Rodríguez Polo
  • Gohar Tamrazyan
  • Anna Adzic
  • Lukas Oestmann
  • Ana Marija Vego


  • Julien Joly
  • Damien Ribière
  • Aleksandr Pak
  • Grégoire Tissier
  • Hallgerdur Thorsteinsdottir
  • Wissam Pheng
  • Benedict Wasserfallen
  • Sophia Pheng

Rules online tournament

If you're a beginner, don't be intimidated by all of those rules. Once you joined the tournament, everything should work out automatically when it's game time. Just enjoy the game! Nonetheless, here are some details about the tournament:

How does the tournament work?

At the beginning of the tournament, players are paired based on their rating. The time control is 3 minutes for each player, with an increment of 2 seconds per move. As soon as you finish a game, return to the tournament lobby: you will then be paired with a player close to your ranking. This ensures minimum wait time, however you may not face all other players in the tournament. Play fast and return to the lobby to play more games and win more points.

How are scores calculated?

A win has a base score of 2 points, a draw 1 point, and a loss is worth no points. If you win two games consecutively you will start a double point streak, represented by a flame icon. The following games will continue to be worth double points until you fail to win a game. That is, a win will be worth 4 points, a draw 2 points, and a loss will still not award any points. For example, two wins followed by a draw will be worth 6 points: 2 + 2 + (2 x 1)

What is Arena Berserk?

When a player clicks the Berserk button at the beginning of the game, they lose half of their clock time, but the win is worth one extra tournament point. Going Berserk in time controls with an increment also cancels the increment (1+2 is an exception, it gives 1+0). Berserk is not available for games with zero initial time (0+1, 0+2). Berserk only grants an extra point if you play at least 7 moves in the game.

Other important rules

There is a countdown for your first move. Failing to make a move within this time will forfeit the game to your opponent. Drawing the game within the first 10 moves will earn neither player any points. Draw streaks: When a player has consecutive draws in an arena, only the first draw will result in a point, or draws lasting more than 30 moves. The draw streak can only be broken by a win, not a loss or a draw.

When does it end?

The tournament has a countdown clock of an hour and a half. When it reaches zero, the tournament rankings are frozen, and the winner is announced. Games in progress must be finished, however they don't count for the tournament.

How is the winner decided?

The best 20 players of each team add up their points for a team total. The team that has the most points wins the Polychamps. Furthermore, an individual ranking is provided. The player(s) with the most points at the end of the tournament's time limit will be announced winner(s). If two or more players have the same number of points, the tournament performance is the tie break.