However, it was only in 1966 that it was first celebrated following a proposal by UNESCO. On 12th December 2019, the UN General assembly approved and recognized the day as International Chess Day. Chess enthusiasts have been celebrating their favorite board game on this day each year for over 50 years since.
How many Countries celebrate this day?
There are 199 countries as chess federations under the FIDE. They organize many chess competitions around the world on this day. According to the FIDE, International Chess Day is celebrated across more than 150 countries; the most recent survey shows that chess is played by at least 605 million adults worldwide.
Why is chess so popular?
Chess is called the ‘thinking man’s game’; it enhances deep, logical and tactical thinking, amongst other benefits. Recently conducted research links playing chess to mental health; studies also encourage chess to be introduced to children diagnosed with ADHD, as it helps with concentration skills. It’s also an inclusive and affordable sport; apart from the apparent benefits, chess gained more popularity in recent years due to the pandemic; with the pandemic restricting livelihood and human interaction, chess filled the void by being available and accessible through the internet.
International chess day is celebrated in many ways across the globe, the main activity being introducing someone to chess and teaching them how to play chess; it is also celebrated and promoted through various online campaigns.
Are you intrigued yet? Find out more about International Chess Day, play an intense chess game, watch a TV series or movie related to chess, and prepare yourself for the next International Chess!
Read our exclusive article on the top benefits of playing chess.