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You are double counting if you are adding up all of the players who are rated in any country or FIDE because some players are FIDE rated and rated in their home country. A few players are rated in multiple countries.
FWIW, Susan Polgar (quoting a source I don't recall) stated that there are 7.5 million players who are rated and 605 million people who know how to play chess (e.g., know how the pieces move).
USCF claims a membership of 85,000. Wikipedia, on the other hand, reports that USCF membership peaked at 85,000 in 2000, and has been steadily declining to about 77,000 in 2012/2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Chess_Federation
Probably just trying to estimate it. I'm sure in the end he'd divide by some number he thinks is reasonable.As for S Polgar, the source would be interesting.
I'd like to know through time, how many people play chess online regularly.
Chess.com, at any hour, has between about 10-15 thousand. So lets say 12.5k and the average time spent is 2 hours. Then that's ~150k regulars on chess.com alone, which is more than I would have guessed.
@pt - you're right. I was planning to substract Fide rated players per country from the overall number, assuming all Fide rated players would have a national rating as well. Anyway, will only be a very rough estimate at the end.
I also wonder where the 7.5m comes from... (Russian schoolboys ?)
A better metric is active members. The USCF has a large number of Life Members who haven't played a rated game in years.
hicetnunc, how many there are in France?
Shak, I'll have to check, but I think around 10000.
And in the USCF there is something like 35000 unrated members...
Hicetnunc, you will have a hard time getting data from India, China and Russia. I remember reading an article in Europe Echecs explaining that even the russian federation don't know the figures for Russia...
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