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Chess, the resurgence of an ancient game

A remarkable fact from 2020 until now has been the resurgence of Chess. Confinement has caused a lot more people at home, and many more people connected to the internet. Chess has served to settle the habits of people who already played other online games and opt for it.

A bit of history

One of my favorite pastimes is playing chess. It is very relaxing and stimulating at the same time. A few years ago, in my youth, I used to play countless games. Over the years I have reduced the time I spend playing, and right now I play Chess, that is, against humans over the internet, never against a computer. A few years ago Garry Kasparov,one of the great chess geniuses, said it looked as if the internet were meant for Chess. You can play online with other people, you can watch live games streaming or on video platforms, you can comment games, you can join club of your land, etc.

Chess is extremely competitive because a lot of people play, and some of whom do well. It’s a universal sport, you can go to China and without saying a word start playing against someone else. There are no barriers, no countries, no languages, just your mind against the opponent’s mind.

Chess as a sport and as art

More than a sport or a game for me, it’s an art. The board is like a battlefield where you have a few forces… armed to the teeth, and your rival possesses exactly the same arsenal. By maneuvering on the battlefield by moving your forces you must defeat the rival king.

If you are an avid movie eater in“Casablanca” thereis a detail of the character played by Humphrey Bogart,Rick Blaine in the film, he played a game of Chess against himself. If you’re looking for information about him, you’ll know he was an expert chess player. On the www.chesslab.com  www.chesslab.com and in the search area you put its name will appear 5 games played by it. A game plays her against his wife at the time,  Lauren Bacall..

On one occasion, a Spanish writer was asked if playing Chess increased intelligence. He said,“Yes, it increases intelligence, it increases the intelligence to playChess.” I don’t know of a game that at the individual level gets  an emotional reward as big as Chess. There’s nothing you can compare to winning someone else, to another head. It doesn’t matter if you’re fat, skinny, tall, thin, left-wing, right-wing, handsome, ugly… in front of a board we are all the same, it is a universal language. The two rivals have the same army and one is victorious through maneuvers that lead to the surrender of the rival king.

A game

Here’s a position for you. In a tough fight of a game an end was reached where the target is clearly lost. He had allowed some licenses and his rival took advantage of them. However, when it was not long before I signed the forms and shake hands recognizing defeat, this position happened that I put to you:

ajedrez
Play white and win

They play the white pieces. The black (the player who wears the black pieces) has just played Horse to d3 thinking that he has already won since if I move the tower, a check in a1 comes with the Tower and to follow Dxe5+, changing the ladies. However, the player of the black pieces did not see that there is matte in 4 by Lady by h7 check, King by h7, Tower to h4 check, Tower to h6, Tower by h6 check, King to g8 and Tower h8 matte. He thought he was cattle and didn’t see all White had. Relaxation and lack of concentration were what caused his defeat.

Watch Chess Live

One of the factors that has most helped the growth during the 2020s of Chess has undoubtedly been the streamings (platforms to watch other players play online) of players. Perhaps the most famous is Hikaru Nakamura. He is currently the No. 1 player in Chess blitz. In Fig. 1 we see the followers that Hikaru Nakamura has obtained (Gmhikaru on the Twitch platform).

gmhikaru
Figure 1. Twitch follower data gmhikaru

Hikaru started connecting regularly from March this year and became popular and a lot of people started seeing him because he is possibly the fastest player, or one of them, in the world.

It also helped that chess-playing websites started spending money hiring players to make videos. For example, the world’s largest chess portal www.chess.com create a tournament for active twitch streamers with little knowledge of chess to start playing with each other. First they were prepared with live lessons and then a tournament was held. Learn more here > https://www.chess.com/article/view/chesscom-pogchamps.  They looked real as crude as this matte in 6 in one of the games. I thought it was stupid at first, but then I have to say that I was amused to see the mistakes the players made as well as the comments of chess.com’s commentators, all titled in Chess.

Chess Titles

Chess has a player scoring system called elo ranking. Elo points measure the strength of a player. According to this force, chess titles such as the following are established:

  • Open titles:
    • Grand Master of Chess (GM), International Master (IM), FIDE Master (FM) and Candidate Master (CM).
  • Women’s titles:
    • Great Female Teacher (WGM), International Female Teacher (WIM), FIDE Women’s Teacher (WFM), Female Candidate Teacher (WCM).

And Anish Giri came

Possibly one of the most extravagant characters in the chess world is GM Anish Giri. He represents the Netherlands, being the No. 1 player in his country. Suddenly he started tweeting more often due to the pandemic and decided to create a youtube channel which reached 10,000 subscribers without having uploaded any videos.

anish giri
Figure 2. Subscribers of Anish Giri’s Youtube channel

He also created a series of videos about French defense which you can find in chessable.com. The promotional video is this:

It is noteworthy within personality that is always joking and trolling everyone, including world champion Magnus Carlsen. As in this video in which in a 1-minute game you use bersek mode, that is, as soon as you start the game you remove 30 seconds of your time.

Chess Videos You Should Watch

This is a personal list of the best moments for me about Chess. The first is a gambit found by Aman Hambleton,  Jerome’s gambit. Possibly one of the worst openings White can play, or not.

A video that makes a compilation of the funniest moments of Online Chess.

Or the day a man, the legend of the Greenman, appeared on the Chessbrah channel.

The end

Chess is a mental sport. It’s sport because to play it you have to be in good physical condition and it’s mental because you have to think and use your head. Many children learn Chess and for them it is certainly of great help because it helps them to think. It helps them to be methodical, orderly, to take everything into account, and above all to memorize. Because Chess is memory, memory to have schemes in your head and to know how to recognize repeating patterns.

Well, a little long this article. Long live Chess, whether online or in real life. See you on a board.

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