20 Jul International Chess Day – Everything You Need to Know
As a universal game, chess has an irresistible appeal and charm.
Did You Know? More than 70% of adults ( Russia, US, UK, Germany, & India) have played chess at some point of time in their lives
Today over 600 million people are playing chess every day, and the number is only increasing.
The universal appeal of chess lies in the fact that it is an affordable and inclusive activity that can be conducted and exercised anywhere across the barriers of language, age, gender, physical ability or social status. Chess combines sport, scientific thinking and elements of art beautifully into an ancient sport of testing our intellectual abilities and is a reflection of the socio-cultural development of humanity over centuries.
According to UN, “Chess is a global game, which promotes fairness, inclusion and mutual respect, and noting in this regard that it can contribute to an atmosphere of tolerance and understanding among peoples and nations.”
Chess has been around for centuries, and if you ask us, every day is a chess day, since we have been lucky enough to learn, play, and enjoy this game with our students and coaches every day of the year.
While there is a day designated for almost everything and every whim in that people have, UN endorses some on the basis of the potential of a particular cause in order to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity.
When is International Chess Day Celebrated?
International Chess Day has been around since 1966. On 12 December 2019, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 20 July as World Chess Day to mark the date of the establishment of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) in Paris in 1924.
Under the initiative of FIDE, July 20 has been observed as International Chess Day by chess players around the world since 1966.
Recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the supreme body responsible for chess championships, FIDE defines the individual and international competition rules of chess, calculates the ratings of chess players, and awards performance-based titles to chess players (Candidate Master, Master, International Master, Grandmaster, and their women’s versions).
Why is International Chess Day Celebrated?
International Chess Day is a worldwide celebration for chess celebrated on July 20 every year, the day FIDE was founded in 1924.FIDE also marks it’s 97th birthday this year as an organization. Players, clubs, and organizations around the world are marking this year aligning with the UN theme of “Chess for recovering better”.
As the Olympics brought truce and constructive competitive spirit , and also celebrated the human tenacity of beating odds, nothing has set a better example than chess in recent times.
“Throughout history, games and sports have helped humanity to survive times of crisis by reducing anxieties and improving mental health. While the coronavirus outbreak has forced most gaming and sports activities to scale down, chess has demonstrated remarkable resilience, adaptability and a very strong convening power in times of pandemic. Over the past few months, the overall interest in chess is reported to have doubled, with more players than ever coming together to participate in chess events that are being increasingly held through online platforms.”
Chess plays an important role in strengthening education, women empowerment, global cooperation and culture of peace.Sports have been known to bring people together, and FIDE’s motto, “Gens una sumus,” (Latin for “We are one people.” ) resounds beautifully with the overall global sentiment in 2021.
Chess for Recovering Better – Healing the World
Looking at the brighter side, the pandemic has created an opportunity to go beyond borders and look at the whole world in a uniformed perspective. Chess is a mind game that pushes for deep logical thinking and enhances responsible action. By promoting chess and linking it with the issues that concern the entire human race, International Chess day is a creative and strategic way of creating a universal platform and showing solidarity with those still suffering from the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic in various corners of the world.
The benefits of chess have been long noticed, researched and recorded. Chess provides support to improving the brain’s “muscle power” and is also linked to mental development.
Read: Chess as a Brain Booster
Although still in initial stages of research, there are several interesting findings that have piqued the attention of mental health experts and spurred a flurry of activities studying the impact of chess on various mental disorders, like ADHD.
Take a look:
- Training students with ADHD on playing chess has affected their concentration period and skill.
- It was shown that students take a longer duration until they start exhibiting undesirable and unacceptable behaviors. Hence, students need to learn chess as it trains them to stay longer on task, control their actions, and maintain focus.
- Results also revealed an improvement in the concentration tasks and the listening language scores at the end of the intervention. After the analysis of the results based on self-regulation, decision-making, and attention theories, it was concluded that the questions posed at the beginning of the study were all answered in the affirmative and proved according to the chosen sample of students.
FIDE was also involved in an online event called “Chess for Recovering Better,” organized with the U.N. and attended by government officials and other relevant stakeholders. Several top chess players also participated, including former world champions GM Viswanathan Anand and GM Vladimir Kramnik, former women’s world champion GM Hou Yifan, and GM Levon Aronian.
This year, to mark the occassion of International Chess Day, FIDE World Cup is expanding and getting bigger and better. 206 players will compete in a revamped FIDE World Cup for a record prize fund of $ 1,890,000. The Women’s World Cup is also expanded to 103 players, with a 50% increase in the prize fund: from $450,000 to $676,000.
How to Celebrate International Chess Day
International Chess Day celebrates Chess and it’s positive impact on our lives. Chess has been around in various forms ever since human beings started their intellectual journey towards self-discovery. There are several ways to celebrate and commemorate the occasion.
Here are a few ways you can do it.
1. Refer a friend or family member
Although we find it hard to believe, there are still some people who have never been exposed to chess. This is the time to do exactly that and change their lives forever. Chess is a great way of breaking the ice, fostering bonds, and rekindling the competitive spirit. If you know someone who would love to play the game, refer them to us for a truly rewarding journey for both of you! Refer and Win
2. Bring out the chessboard and just start playing
The best way to learn any new sport is to start somewhere, and chess is one of the easiest games to start playing. Online or offline, you don’t need much when it comes to chess.
Don’t have a chessboard yet?
No problem, start playing online at Lichess!
Got a friend and want to play with them?
Get them onboard too! It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner, all you need is a lot of attitude and a passion to start somewhere. Not so long ago, chess was considered a deeply intellectual game and one that needed people to have a certain flair.
Here’s a guide to start with: A Beginner’s Guide for Chess Lovers
3. Play in a chess tournament
We have been proudly conducting at least one tournament every day of the week since last 1 year, and we would like to invite you to it.
Indian chess lovers have a great opportunity to bond and network over chess with an exclusive Online chess tournament this weekend for unrated and U-1500 players across the country.
Participate, and apart from winning cash prizes worth Rs 50000/-, you can get luckier and win an exquisite giveaway worth Rs 10000/-.To participate in this International Chess Day event by CHESS KLUB click on this link.
4. Watch a movie on chess together
We all have sceptics amongst us who are still unaffected by the lure and charm of the game of the kings. For the super cynical lot, we have some interesting movies and even TV shows ( you bet there still are some who are unaware of “The Queen’s Gambit”!) to interest them into doing something amazing to mark the day.
5. Become a CHESS KLUB member
There are several ways to stay close to your favorite game- Chess. One such way is to join a community spread around the world and one that is solely dedicated to Chess. CHESS KLUB is an international community of chess lovers, players, FIDE Masters, International Masters, Grandmasters, kids, parents, and chess coaches who love the game for it’s beauty and want to share their passion with the world.
You can join CHESS KLUB as a parent, a student, a partner, an affiliate or as a coach. All you have to do is show us why you should be considered for this elite group of chess lovers.
Try our free trial class and discover more about us- Rregister here.
No matter what kind of chess-based activities you wish to indulge in, whether watching people play a chess game (in person or online), playing a game, or just learning about it, get caught up in the wonders of chess on International Chess Day! It is not just an event, it is an attempt to unite the whole world together and bring the collective consciousness towards larger issues at hand.
How would you like to celebrate the game?
Write to us in the comments below.