How many people in the world play chess. Who knows the exact number?

From chaturanga to Steinitz, Lasker, Capablanca, Petrosian, after a cold war between Spassky and Fischer, to Garry Kasparov’s Kingdom and then Carlsen’s “empire” a game that connects all of them still remains in the center of attention in the world.

A sport that attracts thousand people already thousands of years,  is one of the most popular sports among other sports. The most important thing is that the number of the players never decrease, quite the opposite it increases year after year. 

Bobby Fischer Against the world documentary

Bobby Fischer Against the world documentary

With this in mind, we all want to know how many players in the world play chess? 

According to  English chess journalist  Edward Winter. "Nobody knows, even roughly, how many people play chess, and nobody should pretend to know." 

If we would think deeper, Edward can be right, because there can never be the exact number of chess players in the world. But the number of players in FIDE list can give us the opportunity to find out approximately number of players.

As stated by the authoritative organization YouGov,  70% of the adult population (US, UK, Germany, Russia, India) has played chess at some point in their lives. Even if they played in their younger ages haven’t lost the admiration for the game. 

Based on the surveys of the AGON ( 2012) 605 million adults play chess regularly. The most surprising fact is the percentage of adults who currently play chess. Here are the percentages for the survey. 

Countries of the survey

Besides that, the survey released that chess players and non-chess players ranked chess higher than any other game.

YouGov also found out that chess players and those who play chess are more informed than those who don’t play.  They are more likely to read The Guardian, The New Scientist, The Week (in the U.K.) The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The New Yorker (in the U.S.).

The 21st century was a pivotal period for chess history which brought the game into a new level.  With the development of online chess, the number of online players increased, which in its turn helped to count the approximate number of the players. One of the best examples is Chess.com the most visited chess website, with more than 23,098,698 members with more than 2,438,718 games per day.

 At the same time, one thing that we don’t know, it is the exact number of professional and non-professional players, that is we don’t know how many players of that 600 million are professionals.

According to FIDE,  there are 782617 registered players (June 2018).  But those numbers and statistics don’t show anything besides showing the world what kind of important game is chess, what it will give you and what will change in your life.

If you’re not a chess player, but you read this, add the number of the chess players, start your chess journey now and Let’s Chess together. 

Published on : 26 Jun 2018

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