Jen Shahade putting a new spin on a classic game

Poker is not the only game in which a spinning wheel adds some excitement, as PokerStars Mind Sport Ambassador Jen Shahade proved last month at a special event on the Isle of Man.

If you don't already know Jen Shahade is a chess master. It means she can humiliate ordinary folk like us in a handful of moves then politely shake hands as she moves on to destroy her next victim. It's all very civilised and frankly, even watching defeated from the other side of the board, you're thoroughly enthralled and entertained.

jen_shahade_iom_chess_10nov15.jpgJen Shahade in "simul" action

Shahade regularly proves this by taking on large numbers of players in what are called "simuls"; simultaneous games, against a dozen or so players at once.

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But with the UKIPT Isle of Man festival coming up she had an idea. How about bringing a Spin & Go type wheel into play? Call it: Chess roulette.

Each player in the "simul" would have one "power up". At any point in the game they could spin a wheel, marked with different chess pieces, in a bid to tilt things in their favour. The piece the wheel landed on would be the piece Shahade would have to move next.

Actually it wasn't the first time the chess roulette wheel has been given a spin.

Shahade created the chess roulette wheel with artist and curator Larry List. It was debuted at the "Chance Aesthetics" show in Saint Louis, USA, although was the first time it had been used in a simul.

The intention was to give less skilled players a chance when taking on a master. Was it enough to swing things into the oppositions favour? See for yourself...

Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

Stephen Bartley
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