The Chess Boom

Yet another article has appeared at the New York Times concerning the Chess Boom:

There was a time not too long ago when people who played Chess were thought to be “smart.” Chess was a serious game held in esteem by many people all over the planet. Unfortunately, as can be seen from the above picture, Chess has become a frivolity. Case in point:

Mr. Allebest,’s C.E.O. “When I was a kid, chess was for nerds,” he said.Credit…Kim Raff for The New York Times

From the article:

“But by all accounts — from players, parents, teachers, website metrics — the game’s popularity has exploded.”

At least there is one honest and objective ‘player’ in the current ‘game’ and his name is Mike Klein.

“Mr. Klein has been traveling the country trying to convince schools to include chess in the curriculum. He argues that chess is good for the brain, but he concedes that the scientific studies he invokes, linking chess with better performance on standardized tests, “are pretty old or don’t have a good control group or are not a large enough sample size.”

Alexandra Botez,

28, another chess celebrity on Twitch and YouTube, earned a particular claim to fame: Once, while streaming a match, she blundered into losing her queen and reacted with an endearing, bemused shock that made the gaffe seem cool. To accidentally lose your queen is now known as the Botez Gambit.

What comes after a Boom?

Ambassador Magnus Carlsen

After returning from purchasing supplies for, “A ‘once in a generation’ winter storm (that) will impact nearly every state and cripple Christmas travel” (, this writer needed rest and a good, strong cuppa Joe. When waiting for the coffee out came the surfing board. While reading an article at the coffee was not the only liquid boiling… The title of the article was, Officially Acquires Play Magnus, Carlsen Signs As Ambassador (

The article begins, “, the world’s largest chess website, has acquired Play Magnus Group, a leading chess entertainment and education company. The proposed acquisition was initially announced on August 24, 2022 and was unanimously recommended by Play Magnus Group’s board. After receiving regulatory and shareholder approval, the acquisition officially closed on December 16, 2022. By sheer coincidence, on the same day, reached 100,000,000 members, another major milestone in the site’s history.”

The paragraph that really caused my blood to boil was, “In association with the acquisition of Play Magnus Group, Magnus Carlsen has signed on as a ambassador. He will be competing regularly in events such as the Speed Chess Championship. On December 18, 2022, Carlsen contested the 2022 Speed Chess Championship Final which was in a thrilling, down-to-the-wire performance by Hikaru Nakamura. More than 200,000 viewers tuned in to watch this highly anticipated matchup.”

Hold on now…wait a MINUTE! “Contested”? “CONTESTED!” Ambassador Carlsen lost, LOST, the “thrilling, down-to-the-wire performance by Hikaru Nakamura.” What? did not want to embarrass the new AMBASSADOR?

Nakamura beats Carlsen for 5th consecutive Speed Chess title (