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Why isn't chess more popular?


  • 23 months ago · #1

    George1st

    Apparently, other board games like Monopoly, Chequers, Scrabble, Poker etc are far more popular. 

    I am interested to gain some insight as to why?

  • 23 months ago · #2

    Yereslov

    Why are you complaining about chess?

    Try playing go.

    There are only three clubs I know of in my entire state.

    That's a lot less than the 15-20 chess clubs spread across the fifty mile area.

    But, to answer your question, chess is unpopular because of its very nature. It's a thinking game. Thinking is considered a waste of time by mondern man. We would rather have someone else think for us.

  • 23 months ago · #3

    Yereslov

    Shadowknight911 wrote:

    I guess I'm lucky being here in the SF Bay area, where Silicon Valley is with all its smart people, yes, lots of good chess players here.  Even more so at the scholastic level.  The three hotbeds of chess in the US are New York City, the San Francisco area which covers Silicon Valley, and the Dallas area.

    New York is the capital.

  • 23 months ago · #4

    George1st

    Yereslov wrote:
    Shadowknight911 wrote:

    I guess I'm lucky being here in the SF Bay area, where Silicon Valley is with all its smart people, yes, lots of good chess players here.  Even more so at the scholastic level.  The three hotbeds of chess in the US are New York City, the San Francisco area which covers Silicon Valley, and the Dallas area.

    New York is the capital.

    Don't believe he was stating whether new york was a capital or not?

  • 23 months ago · #5

    boymaster

    I believe it's because of the "boredom factor".

    You know, when something gets boring the more you get used to it. I'm not necessarily saying chess is boring, it's probably because chess is more of thinking, and other games involve less thinking, and somewhat known more than chess.

  • 23 months ago · #6

    Meadmaker

    George1st wrote:

    Apparently, other board games like Monopoly, Chequers, Scrabble, Poker etc are far more popular. 

    I am interested to gain some insight as to why?


    It depends a lot on how you measure "popularity".

    Monopoly is a game that everyone has heard of, and most people receive as a gift some time when they are small children, but hardly anyone ever plays.   If you cound the number of people who have ever played a game of monopoly, it's probably somewhat more popular than Chess.  If you count the number of people who have played within the last year, I suspect Chess is more popular.  If you count the number of adults who have played within the last year, against other adults, I'm confident Chess takes the edge.

    On the other hand, some of the others may indeed be more popular.  I think the answer is that most people play board games as a structured social activity.  They want something to do with their friends.  They are less interested in the game itself than they are in the game as a means of facilitating social interaction.  The other games that you mentioned are all better for social interaction.  Chess requires more concentration and does not create opportunities for conversation in the way the other games do.

     

    (Note:  Checkers has the same characteristics as Chess in that way, but because it is not taken as seriously, people tend to brush it off more quickly.   Furthermore, I don't know people who actually sit down to a game of checkers unless they happen to be at Cracker Barrel.)

  • 23 months ago · #7

    George1st

    Meadmaker wrote:
    George1st wrote:

    Apparently, other board games like Monopoly, Chequers, Scrabble, Poker etc are far more popular. 

    I am interested to gain some insight as to why?


    It depends a lot on how you measure "popularity".

    Monopoly is a game that everyone has heard of, and most people receive as a gift some time when they are small children, but hardly anyone ever plays.   If you cound the number of people who have ever played a game of monopoly, it's probably somewhat more popular than Chess.  If you count the number of people who have played within the last year, I suspect Chess is more popular.  If you count the number of adults who have played within the last year, against other adults, I'm confident Chess takes the edge.

    On the other hand, some of the others may indeed be more popular.  I think the answer is that most people play board games as a structured social activity.  They want something to do with their friends.  They are less interested in the game itself than they are in the game as a means of facilitating social interaction.  The other games that you mentioned are all better for social interaction.  Chess requires more concentration and does not create opportunities for conversation in the way the other games do.

     

    (Note:  Checkers has the same characteristics as Chess in that way, but because it is not taken as seriously, people tend to brush it off more quickly.   Furthermore, I don't know people who actually sit down to a game of checkers unless they happen to be at Cracker Barrel.)

    Very interesting, ty

  • 23 months ago · #8

    ChessSponge

    It is very easy to understand why.  Other board/card games are more social and more casual. A lot of them take less time to play (monopoly tends to be longer than chess though).

     

    When friends get together they typically play games that they can chat through the entire time and where lucky breaks can happen and anyone can win.

     

    I go to my brother's house a few weekends each month with my fiance to play games with him and his wife. Chess is never ever one of them, but many board and card games are. They allow us to be social and relax. Also the fact that most of them don't require a ton of thought also helps the conversation.

     

    In America chess is mostly ignored because it is slow and doesn't have the excitement that movies, tv and video games have. We're a culture focused on action and flashy things. Same reason in casinos slot machines are the most played game despite the fact they require zero thought/skill from the player. They have tons of flashing lights and noises so people focus on them the most.

     

    Hell, I like chess and the better I get the more boring I find it at times. Not because I've come anywhere near mastering it, because I havent' but because games where neither side makes a big blunder or has interesting and tricky tactical sequences going on can feel real slow. Those games where both sides have good positions so many moves from both sides are slight positional improvements.

  • 23 months ago · #9

    ab121705

    chess requires thinking and is much harder to "master" than, say, Monopoly.  People (esp in the U.S.) don't want to work that hard; we want to be entertained; there is not nearly as much luck in chess, other than blunders by an opponent. Poker does require skill, but you can win money, hence its popularity in the U.S., given our greed and materialism. 

    Chess is cerebral; we are too busy buying humvees and suv's and homes we cannot afford; no time for chess. 

  • 23 months ago · #10

    PatzerLars

    ab121705 wrote:

    chess requires thinking and is much harder to "master" than, say, Monopoly.  People (esp in the U.S.) don't want to work that hard; we want to be entertained; there is not nearly as much luck in chess, other than blunders by an opponent. Poker does require skill, but you can win money, hence its popularity in the U.S., given our greed and materialism. 

    Chess is cerebral; we are too busy buying humvees and suv's and homes we cannot afford; no time for chess. 

    Damn, never read so much self-criticism. Surprised

  • 23 months ago · #11

    ab121705

    PatzerLars wrote:
    ab121705 wrote:

    chess requires thinking and is much harder to "master" than, say, Monopoly.  People (esp in the U.S.) don't want to work that hard; we want to be entertained; there is not nearly as much luck in chess, other than blunders by an opponent. Poker does require skill, but you can win money, hence its popularity in the U.S., given our greed and materialism. 

    Chess is cerebral; we are too busy buying humvees and suv's and homes we cannot afford; no time for chess. 

    Damn, never read so much self-criticism.

    yeah; have you ever been in the U.S.?? great country but very caught up in its own "success." obviously i am not referring to all the U.S. citizens, nor to those who do play chess. There are some great people here. And capitalism is, I believe, the best economic system. But we have to take everything to extremes. Most from the U.S. are shallow, lazy, arrogant.

    At least some of us realize it, huh? Sorry if I am offending fellow-citizens; if you are on this website, then I doubt I am even referring to you

  • 23 months ago · #12

    Yereslov

    George1st wrote:
    Yereslov wrote:
    Shadowknight911 wrote:

    I guess I'm lucky being here in the SF Bay area, where Silicon Valley is with all its smart people, yes, lots of good chess players here.  Even more so at the scholastic level.  The three hotbeds of chess in the US are New York City, the San Francisco area which covers Silicon Valley, and the Dallas area.

    New York is the capital.

    Don't believe he was stating whether new york was a capital or not?

    Good job, you figured it out. No, genius, I'm stating it.

    I'm joking, so don't start fuming over the comment.

    Anyways, the Marshall Chess Club is in New York. It's pretty much the White House of American chess.

  • 23 months ago · #13

    zborg

    Master Level chess games leave most folks scratching their heads because of all the Zwischenzug (interpolated, or intermediate) moves.  This includes lots of OTB players under USCF 2000, myself included.

    So the answer is simple.  The damn game is entirely too dense to understand and appreciate fully, except for a relatively small circle of people (trained in its arts).

    When Tiger Woods makes an amazing gold shot, everyone can understand what just happened.  No way that happens in Chess, unfortunately.

    Scrabble is wildly popular because everyone already speaks the language, at least one would hope so.  Ditto with many other board games.  It's very easy to play checkers badly, but it's also very easy to learn.  Not so with our Royal Game.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that.  Smile

    P.S.  Please spare us talk about the "Ugly or Lazy American" crap, as is posted (above) in a couple places.  This country has no shortage of bright, innovative people, and they keep coming here from all over the world.  Just like my grandparents.

    And besides, we still kick ass in "Round Ball," as John Stewart would say.

  • 23 months ago · #14

    ChessSponge

    zborg wrote:

    Master Level chess games leave most folks scratching their heads because of all the Zwischenzug (interpolated, or intermediate) moves.  This includes lots of OTB players under USCF 2000, myself included.

    So the answer is simple.  The damn game is entirely too dense to understand and appreciate fully, except for a relatively small circle of people (trained in its arts).

    When Tiger Woods makes an amazing gold shot, everyone can understand what just happened.  No way that happens in Chess, unfortunately.

    Scrabble is wildly popular because everyone already speaks the language, at least one would hope so.  Ditto with many other board games.  It's very easy to play checkers badly, but it's also very easy to learn.  Not so with our Royal Game.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that.  

    P.S.  Please spare us talk about the "Ugly or Lazy American" crap, as is posted (above) in a couple places.  This country has no shortage of bright, innovative people, and they keep coming here from all over the world.  Just like my grandparents.

    And besides, we still kick ass in "Round Ball," as John Stewart would say.

    I don't think it is ever wrong to see that different nations approach life in different ways. Chess is much bigger in Europe than it is in the US. A lot of that is due to how the different cultures view life and the world.

     

    No need to be defensive. There are simply differing opinions. Some people believe it is better to prefer a flashy action movie with no plot while some believe it is better to have a slow drama with a lot of subtext. You can't really say one is correct. So when I say that most Americans find chess to slow/not flashy/action packed enough it is not saying that there is something wrong with the US, simply that there is a different view point.

  • 23 months ago · #15

    ab121705

    zborg wrote:

    Master Level chess games leave most folks scratching their heads because of all the Zwischenzug (interpolated, or intermediate) moves.  This includes lots of OTB players under USCF 2000, myself included.

    So the answer is simple.  The damn game is entirely too dense to understand and appreciate fully, except for a relatively small circle of people (trained in its arts).

    When Tiger Woods makes an amazing gold shot, everyone can understand what just happened.  No way that happens in Chess, unfortunately.

    Scrabble is wildly popular because everyone already speaks the language, at least one would hope so.  Ditto with many other board games.  It's very easy to play checkers badly, but it's also very easy to learn.  Not so with our Royal Game.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that.  

    P.S.  Please spare us talk about the "Ugly or Lazy American" crap, as is posted (above) in a couple places.  This country has no shortage of bright, innovative people, and they keep coming here from all over the world.  Just like my grandparents.

    And besides, we still kick ass in "Round Ball," as John Stewart would say.

    Spare us your righteous outrage. I am talking about percentages. as I stated in my post: "obviously i am not referring to all the U.S. citizens, nor to those who do play chess. There are some great people here."

    But statistics bear me out and all of your denials don't change that. Look at the American "education" system compared to many other countries. It is a MESS because we don't want to offend our children by flunking them or making them work too hard.

    Read my entire post and respond to it rather than stating the obvious, "there are some great people here."

  • 23 months ago · #16

    zborg

    I sometimes like flashy comic book movies, and always enjoy John Barrow's Cosmological musings.  No offense taken.

    @George1st,  please get a wax job or put on a shirt.  Don't you know there are young kids on this site.  Laughing  

  • 23 months ago · #17

    zborg

    No thanks, @Abnumbers guy.  Spare us the massive quotations (above), and learn how to write, persuasively.

    I didn't single out anyone's post.  You did that to yourself. 

  • 23 months ago · #18

    Kumquatodor

    1.I think the youth may be a factor. Chess is rided off by some teenagers as a "nerd's game". As a result, fewer young kids get involved. Of course, a lot do, but I think not enough actually do. Go up to a thirteen-year-old and say, "Do you know how to play chess?" A lot will say, "No."

    2. It is not as social as other board games.This is touched on a lot by other comments.

    3. Television is more interesting to the young padawans. They think so much at school, they wanna sit and take a break. They wanna laugh with Family Guy when their bored than plan with chess.

  • 23 months ago · #19

    mxiangqi

    Everyone has really touched on the main reasons why chess is not more popular (but that won't stop me from re-stating them in my own words :-)):

    1) Chess is intellectual - that is, it requires thought

    2) The financial rewards for playing chess are close to zero, except for the top players in the world.

    3) Chess requires a lot of study and work away from the board

    4) The action can be very slow -- minutes or tens of minutes for a move to be made

    5) The game attracts a certain number of trolls, braggarts, and misfits, thus increasing the negative perception in mainstream society

    6) Many players initially attracted to the game itself may be turned off by chest-beating and other displays of braggadocio when encountering the people mentioned in 5) - alienating the mainstream population even further.

  • 23 months ago · #20

    zborg

    Thanks for the grand "Summing Up," @Mxguy.  Glad to see you're such a strong player.

    Let's add 100 more reasons to that burgeoning laundry list.  That will hold everyone's attention rivited, allowing us to return to wanton self criticism, yet again.  Laughing


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