Chess gains popularity with people of all ages



Chess champion Magnus Carlsen

By Zach Wilm, Staff Writer

The traditional sport of chess is reemerging as a popular sport among the youth and people of all ages. The game of chess has been around for centuries, but it has regained popularity in recent years.

There are many different ways to play chess with people all around the world, using online tournaments. This new spike in chess interest attracts players of all ages and skill levels.

One of the reasons for chess’ rapid growth in popularity is how accessible it is to play. Unlike other sports that require travel or expensive equipment, you can just open your computer or set up a board and play. The easy access to chess is what is keeping patrons from all over the world active and engaged in the sport.

Another reason for the spike in interest is the game’s intellectual challenge. Chess is a game that involves many strategies and tactics. There is a famous phrase, “You’re playing checkers while I am playing chess.” This is because chess players must think several moves in advance while simultaneously anticipating their opponent’s moves.

This level of advanced thinking requires a high level of concentration, making it an excellent way to exercise the brain. Chess has become so popular that scientists are beginning to study how the brain works when involved with the game. Scientists claim that playing chess has been proven to improve memory and problem-solving skills. Chess is essentially food for the brain.

It is not just the intellectual challenge that has created a spike in the world of chess. There is also a social benefit that comes with it. There are clubs in schools and tournaments that bring people together into a social setting that would otherwise be missed. These clubs include people from all different backgrounds and cultures, creating a sense of community and belonging.

There was also another rise in interest after the hit show “The Queen’s Gambit” was released. The Netflix film features Anya Taylor as Beth Harmon, an orphan who matures into a competitive chess player striving to become the greatest chess player in the world while masking an addiction to substances that allow her to function during the games. The success of this series demonstrated a mass following to the game of chess.

One of the most prominent faces in the art of chess belongs to a Norwegian man named Magnus Carlsen. Carlsen started playing the game at just five years old when his father taught him. He was already involved in tournaments by the age of eight and finished in second during the youth chess championship in 2002. It was no secret that Carlsen was a child prodigy.

Carlsen has held the World Chess Championship title since 2013. It is not just the Grand Masters like Carlsen who are impacting the chess world. Online chess has become more popular than ever as a way to participate in tournaments with people worldwide from just the comfort of the living room.

The most popular form of online chess is offers free games and contests and even offers lessons and training for people who are new to the game. Especially during  the Covid-19 pandemic, online chess became so popular as it was a way to stay playing in a safe, no contact way. This free website is perfect for anyone of any age to participate in the sport. Online chess is the ideal way to stay sharp within the sport but not have to get out of your comfort zone.

The word “checkmate” is a word no one wants to hear from their opponent. Checkmate is said when one wins the game as the king is trapped and the game has come to an end. The word origin comes from the Persian phrase “Shah Mat,” which means “the king is dead.” Chess is often timed that way; players have to be fast on their feet. The longest game ever recorded was 269 moves and ended in a draw.

Chess is a game that can be enjoyed by people worldwide and on all different sides of intellectual levels. It is important to stay persistent and analyze your games to learn from your mistakes. There are more than a million different outcomes that can happen in every game. Why not give it a try? You might discover a new passion and make some new friends along the way.