The game of chess is NOT going to die for anytime soon. In fact, chess.com which is one of the largest online chess platforms now has over 37 million users with over 5 million games played each day. Everyday it attracts about 100,000 concurrent users and gets on average 25,000 new registered members.
How Many People Play Chess In The World?
One of the most asked questions I hear is how many people play chess in the world? Well, the number is actually staggering. Chess players now make up one of the largest communities in the world. A couple years ago, It was reported that over 605 million adults play chess regularly and that number has grown even larger where it could be comparable to the number of regular users on Facebook. 70% of the adult population in the United States, Germany, India and the UK has played chess at least once in their lives according to authoritative polling organization YouGov.
Many have still retained deep appreciation and wonder for the game even though they left it behind in their childhood days. Chess is in fact the best board game of strategy, if not the greatest and many non-chess players tend to rank chess over any game they have played because of its sophistication and beauty.
6 Reasons Chess Will Never Die
1. Chess is Pandemic Proof
In the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, we had to witness the postponement of many of our favorite sports such as football, basketball tennis etc. Many sporting companies actually lost millions of dollars by calling off major events due to “stay at home orders”.
While some sports lost their viewership and audience, the community among the chess world was growing even stronger due to the amount of people who had to stay at home. In April of 2020, Lichess.org, the second largest chess platform, hit a record breaking 100,000 concurrent users daily and had to temporarily shut down due to overload of traffic. The beauty about chess is that it’s NOT subjective to ‘Over The Board’ games, that means you don’t have to be physically present, you can choose to play it online on the biggest platforms such as Lichess.org and Chess.com. Many major chess tournament were still being held online even during this untimely pandemic.
We got to experience some of our favorite chess players like Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura battle it out for the Championships. Because of the power of the internet, chess has managed to survive even in the hardest of times, and it’s going to be here for a very long time.
2. Chess Can Be Played Blindfolded
If the world was to end and there is no more internet or even chess sets to move around the pieces, you could still manage to play chess with only the mind. Blinfold is a common form of chess that mostly masters use in their training to develop visualization and memory. As the name suggests, Blindfold chess is played without seeing the actual board and pieces. But trust me, it can be very hard, especially if you aren’t accustomed to the notations of the chess board.
One Grandmaster who is a killer at Blindfold chess is Magnus Carlsen. Not too long ago, he played a simultaneous exhibition match between not 1, not 2 but 10 individuals all at the same time. He had to remember each position of the pieces on 10 different boards. Carlsen later came out victorious in every single one of his games. You can watch the video below.
3. Chess Is Fun and Fascinating
No game survives long if it loses its fun and chess is fun because it’s unpredictable. Games such as tic-tac-toe and even checkers can have a clear winning strategy which makes it less exciting after sometime. However, the unpredictability of chess leaves room for thought and it always keeps players and watcher hooked! If you hear anyone telling you that chess is boring, don’t believe them. Chess can be so fun that if you are playing a game on lichess you may not even want to leave your room to attend to an important matter because the slightest mistake can cause you the whole game. But be careful, too much chess playing can become quite addicting.
Fun Fact: Did you know that the number of possible games in chess is greater than the number of atoms in the observable universe?
4. Chess Has Been Around For Ages
Chess has been in existence for centuries, and there is no reason why it shouldn’t remain that way in the 21st century. In fact, chess is reported to have begun in India in the 6th century. The game was called Chaturanga which translates to the four military positions: cavalry, chariotry, infantry, and elephantry. These forms have now evolved into modern pieces as we know today: Knight, Rook, Pawn and Bishop.
The game made it’s way from India to Persia and soon became an important part of Persian education for the elite class of people. In the 10th century, chess moved further into Europe and the game started to develop rapidly. Many historical figures such as King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella were avid chess players. By playing the game they were able to amend valuable qualities such as circumspection, foresight and perseverance which were needed for great leadership.
5. Chess Is Popular
More and more people are developing interest in chess. Chess has actually become very popular on twitch, which is a popular video game streaming platform. Thousands of people tune in to watch their favorite granmdasters play live and interact with their audience.
There are also many chess clubs that exists where anyone can play. You can have 12 year olds play against 60 year olds and even people of opposite gender compete. The game can be understood by all ethnicities and the same rules of chess apply for everyone whether you are from Canada, U.S, U.K or the Caribbean Islands. And, as previously mentioned, there are over 605 million people who have played chess at least once in their lifetime. There is no denying that chess is becoming more and more popular.
6. Chess Is An Evergreen Video Game
Unlike most video games that come and go in their season, chess is one of the games you can play online that will never lose it’s audience. It’s Evergreen! Chess also gets you outdoors and it’s live.You can’t restart a chess game. You can’t flip the board if you feel things are going south. You just have to continue through good and bad positions. In a way, chess teaches us to embrace our losses and work towards making fewer mistakes.
Although the game can be addicting, it does help to treat other addictions like playing video games for 18 hours a day. Chess can be used as a substitute or alternative to quit that addiction you are struggling with. You need small doses of another game that’s healthier. And chess fulfills that role quite well.
It’s a fact that more people play chess than golf and tennis, combined! Technology has managed to transform chess over the last 30 years and is in the progress of tapping into it’s huge social potential. Because it’s getting more easier and exciting to play chess with friends, this audience will engage and could become one of the largest groups in social media. There is no telling the impact this game can have on the world in the next decade. Tell a friend that the chess is here, and it’s here to stay!