From Netflix shows such as “The Queen’s Gambit” to its rock and roll superstar Magnus Carlsen, the popularity of chess has never been stronger.
As the game embraces the digital world, chess has only continued to grow and is now eagerly consumed by all generations.
Online platform Chess.com says it now has more than 102 million users signed up – a 238% increase from January 2020 – with 7.5 million active users every day.
Meanwhile, some of the sport’s very best players have amassed huge social media followings by streaming games online. The game is so embedded in the public’s consciousness that there is now even such a thing as a chess influencer.
With the game evolving year on year, and with Carlsen playing in a tournament dubbed “chess Wimbledon” on Saturday, CNN takes a look at some of the most popular chess variants with the help of Grandmaster and three-time British Champion David Howell.
Most will be familiar with the rules of classical chess, a game that has been around in some form or other for over a thousand years.
Players compete to checkmate their opponent and have a long time to do so.
The clock, which tracks the time left for both players, usually starts at 90 minutes but games can go on for much longer.
For the upcoming FIDE World Cup this year, for example, players will have 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game. Players also receive an extra 30 seconds for each move they make, meaning individual games can last for hours.
In 2021, Carlsen beat Ian Nepomniachtchi after seven hours, 45 minutes and 136 moves, the longest single game in world championship history. That was the sixth match of the best-of-14-game series, though Carlsen only needed 11 games to win.