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One of the many sports that some people do not think is a sport has recently gotten some spotlight in 2020 and that sport is chess. Yes, chess. Being a two-player, strategic game that involves a checkered board and many pieces, chess is now a sport that millions upon millions are interested in playing…online.
Chess has been around for ages, literally. Since the 6th century, the game has been adapted and changed, but the basics of chess have stayed the same. The objective is to gain the upper hand and take all the pieces from your opponent’s side of the board. Once you take their king…it’s game over. Each player has 16 pieces, and each piece moves differently than the other. There is one king, one queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and eight pawns. The classic game can last anywhere between 10 to 60 minutes, but during tournaments it can last hours.
However, since the game went online this year…the timing of the game has changed. What used to be hours is now minutes. This is something online chess players like to call “Blitz Chess” or fast chess. Blitz Chess is the same as regular chess except the game only lasts 5 to 10 minutes, nothing longer than that. It is controlled and it is much more intense. There isn’t enough time for each player to sit there and contemplate their next move which can make the game exciting and keep you on your toes. There is a high energy to the game which is why it has become so popular on streaming sites like Twitch.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the game of chess on Twitch has reached new limits. There have been people watching chess on Twitch for 40 million hours in just these past few months. Because it is streamed by players that already have a fanbase from other games they stream, some players are making 6-figures by just going live and playing chess. Twitch isn’t the only site that is getting a lot of chess-traction right now. Chess.com has received tons of new members from people who just want to learn the game.
And it definitely isn’t a coincidence that Netflix released its limited series, The Queen’s Gambit around the time that chess has gained major popularity. Being in the top 10 of most watched things on Netflix since its release, people are loving it and they are loving chess. Who knew that a game that was once perceived as boring or too long to watch is now a thrilling, strategic, and magnificent thing to witness?
What are your thoughts on the recent attraction to online chess? Let us know down in the comments.
This article originally published on GREY Journal.