Listen to this story



Discover the current boom in online chess

How has this ancient game become an internet phenomenon?

Leopoldo Ágreda Lovera
7 min read
Discover the current boom in online chess – Education – WebMediums
online chess game

It is true that chess is just a game, but it is also art, it is science and at the same time a sport; few creations of the human being, can boast of belonging to so many different areas; Chess being apparently just another board game.

It is always said that there is no harm in the world, and this was very clear during the times of Covid-19, when in the time of greatest confinement, online chess had an overwhelming boom, which continues its rise today.

We can attest to this, on the different platforms to play the game of chess online, or the multiple tutorials on pages like YouTube or Twitch.

In these pages, you can see immortal games between the great masters of history, played to disarm our opponent, and the current tournaments between the Grand Masters; both official and online.

In this article, we will review how chess originated, until we reach the way of playing chess online, which we have today.

brief history of chess

Discover the current boom in online chess – Education – WebMediums
Egyptians playing something like chess.

The quintessential game of the kings and the great sages of antiquity does not have a clear origin story.

Chess seems, the more one investigates through the movements of the pieces on the board, a game created by some divine illumination, or a gift from the gods, like fire, civilization and the art of building.

However, there are some clear antecedents of the game, such as in ancient India, China, Egypt and Iran, the latter being with Chatrang, the closest game to our current chess.

The legend of its origin

Discover the current boom in online chess – Education – WebMediums
Amounts of grains for each box.

There is a legend in India, related to mathematics and the greatest secrets of the universe, where an Indian king had lost his precious son in a battle.

The physical disappearance of the son plunged the king into the deepest depression, who could not and did not want to be distracted by anything; They brought him jewels and gifts, grains, feasts, music and women, but that king was not distracted by anything.

The royal court was in turmoil, unable to find a suitable way to bring the king back; but there was a man, who constantly asked to meet him, to make him a gift.

One day he was allowed to enter his chambers, and the man told the king.

"I have heard, that you lie asleep in the darkest night of your sadness, you have lost your son and no one can repair it, however, oh great king!, I have brought you a gift to distract you, and avoid thinking more, in the death of your son.

In a few hours the king learned the movements, the rules, and the possible combinations that the game offered, managing to make him smile, and being able to cushion a little, the great sorrows that he carried in his heart.

When he had a good time playing, the king told the man that he wanted to give him recognition, he told him to ask him for whatever he wanted, that his wish, as great as it was, would be granted without question.

That man had an Ace up his sleeve, he would ask for a grain of wheat for the first square, doubling the amount for each one of the squares ; The king, upon hearing such a proposal, felt deeply bitter, feeling that he was being disrespected by such a miserable request.

The next day, the king's wise men asked for an audience, telling him that during the whole night the total of grains of wheat had been calculated, telling the king.

"You would have to sow the entire surface of the earth with grains, and in addition to that, draw water from the seas, rivers and oceans, sowing them all with wheat, and even so, you would not pay your debt."

The king smiled and understood that behind the simple request for grains of wheat, a numerical secret was hidden, which amounted to a number of 9.2 trillion grains ; being this voluminous digit, a kind of cosmic signal.

That man would become Vizier, in recognition of that action.

Chess as we know it

Discover the current boom in online chess – Education – WebMediums
Plate located in Zafra, province of Badajoz, Spain; in the house of Ruy López.

The names of the pieces with which we play today are the product of the European variations of the fifteenth century, where the Queen, the bishop and the knights would be incorporated.

The movement of these pieces would also be changed, and the possibility of moving the pawn two squares in the first move.

Some of the most substantial contributions of those first centuries were those of Father Ruy López de Segura, who would write a famous chess treatise; where he would establish the opening with his name, also known as the Spanish opening.

For the 18th century, Paris and the Café de la Regency were the central stage of chess, where François André Danican Philidor stood out, who would give the opening and defense that bears his name.

In Italy there would also be a school, giving rise to the Italian game and opening, well known and played today.

The Cold War and chess

Discover the current boom in online chess – Education – WebMediums
Bobby Fisher in the Match of the Century. 1972 World Title.

Today we can see how online chess acquires great development, but in the past, chess was one of the most played and respected sports in the world.

An example of this was when the American Bobby James Fisher faced the great figure of Russian chess, Boris Spassky, in the historic 1972 world chess championship.

This game was considered the Match of the century, not only because of the greatness of the two players, but because Fisher was the only American who could dispute the crown with the Russians; who held it between Russians and Soviet citizens, until the end of the 20th century.

Bobby Fisher would win with a landslide victory, playing with incredible combinations, creating the legend of his name; that even today, is remembered by all chess players in the world.

Online chess, a new way to play

Discover the current boom in online chess – Education – WebMediums
Game screen in a renowned online chess page.

When computers were developed, chess was always present in one way or another.

One way to see this was that game between the Deep Blue computer and the “Monster of Baku”, Garri Kasparov, in 1997, won by the GM of Azerbaijan.

Today, from the comfort of home, anyone can play chess online or learn the game, go head-to-head with machine intelligence, or play against real people around the world.

In 2020, with the confinement of Covid-19, online chess game servers and search engines grew remarkably; also increasing, the channels on YouTube and other platforms that taught the game.

Interest in world tournaments and championships, which had not been seen for a long time, also increased in various countries around the world.

The advantages of playing chess online are varied, allowing you to agree on the time of a game, from the classic games of 30 minutes per player, through the blitz games of 3 to 10 minutes, or the bullet mode of 1 to 2 minutes per player.

In addition to this, online chess tournaments offer amateur players the opportunity to face Grand Masters, International Masters or Federation Masters.

The fan can obtain victory, if thanks to his practice, study and preparation, he manages to maintain maximum concentration and take advantage of all the opportunities of the game.