Chess surges in popularity


The ancient sport of chess has risen in favor across campus. It is a noticeable trend that some students have taken a strong liking to the game, but there are various reasons for people’s sudden interest. 

Students are playing chess on boards or online through mobile apps or websites. Without the need for an entire board with its many pieces, the game can be played directly from any device. Students can practically play anyone across the world or even play with bots. This easy access has permitted students to play anywhere with anyone. It is a convenient way to play chess and burn free time, especially during class.

Therefore, the most obvious cause would be due to technology. Unlike the past years, this school year Chromebooks were introduced. Students had access to chess through, the most popular website. When the website was blocked, many students were visibly upset. Chess may have been a distraction, but students enjoyed chess as entertainment during school hours.

Additionally, chess can be an easy sport to learn. It requires strategy over academic intelligence however, and it can be more difficult for some students than others. The challenge can also be thrilling. Still, anyone can learn chess with its simple rules, but mastery requires effort and practice. 

For some, it can even be seen as a hobby or a safe space. It can be seen as relaxing or fun, just like other mobile games. Others take it to another level and play competitively, like the school’s varsity and JV chess teams.

Also important to note is COVID’s effect on chess’ popularity. People had a stronger dependence on media during this time as many stayed at home due to quarantine. Some chess players’ love for chess either began or strengthened because of the virus. With less social interaction and online classes, students had to find other outlets to entertain themselves. Chess was one of them and the popularity soared from there.

Starting years back to COVID, technology and the nature of the sport have carried it to where it is now. Students play chess together or during class. In a sense, it has brought some students together and can benefit the Chess Club in the future as well.