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lfPatriotGames
Dmfed wrote:

I'm sorry but where does those crazy numbers come from?! 600 millions chess players? 600 000 000 chess players when total world population is roughly 7 900 000 000 people? Sure, if we count anybody and everybody who ever moved e2e4 in their life. Just like I'm a soccer player since we kicked some ball on recess in school.

It comes from the internet. That number seems about right, especially when we consider places like India where there is a huge population, and chess is more popular. I don't think the 600 million are all necessarily good players, just know how to play. I wouldn't be surprised if the number is a bit higher. 

I watch baseball even though I never play. Ever. I just like watching it. I suppose the same could be true of lots of people and lots of sports. But there are probably very, very few people who watch chess and don't play it. I think it goes back to some of the basic differences between sports and chess. In sports, even people who don't participate like to watch, but in chess (and probably most board games) it's only interesting to watch if they play it. 

Dmfed
lfPatriotGames skrev:

1) It comes from the internet. That number seems about right, especially when we consider places like India where there is a huge population, and chess is more popular. I don't think the 600 million are all necessarily good players, just know how to play. I wouldn't be surprised if the number is a bit higher. 

2) I watch baseball even though I never play. Ever. I just like watching it. I suppose the same could be true of lots of people and lots of sports. But there are probably very, very few people who watch chess and don't play it. I think it goes back to some of the basic differences between sports and chess. In sports, even people who don't participate like to watch, but in chess (and probably most board games) it's only interesting to watch if they play it. 

1) Those numbers gives us 7.5% of Earths population are "chess players". Roughly 1 out of 10 if we are talking about population in countries where chess is more popular. From someone who lived in Russia and now lives in Sweden for a long time, that is complete BS. Among those people, majority would be people who "almost knows every legal move if we ignore en passant". People who probably played it together with checkers and monopoly when they were young and maybe a game or two with their kids. Those people will not flock to TV to watch Magnus Whatshisnamesson vs Ian Whatever, they would probably only play it online or on their computer if it was either on their favorit site or an already existing and installed program on computer... like minesweeper. So how many hundred of millions "minesweepers" do we have and how many of them just die to watch it on big screen if we only make the game faster? 

I understand why site like chess.com would use that type of number but it feels so obviously dishonest when we talk about people who actually have any intresst in the activity.

2) False. People like to watch either very action filled sports or sports which have cultural relevance in their country. We have "Vasaloppet" which people both watch and sign up to in Sweden which is a type of long distance skiing. Since it is a sport, should I assume that a lot of Americans (specially from non-snowy regions) sit on their couch and watch it? Or how popular is hockey in southern countries? And people should watch sumo as much as UFC and boxing, since it is so much quicker and have more "action"?

Oh, and I'm pretty sure other games like poker and backgammon had many more viewers in their peak of 2000-2010 than a ton of sports. It's as if activities with simpler rules for first time viewer to understand and follow as well as being faster are better if you want to show it on TV.

Ziryab
Dmfed wrote:

 

I understand why site like chess.com would use that type of number but it feels so obviously dishonest when we talk about people who actually have any intresst in the activity.

 

 

Chess.com has always counted inactive accounts of members who logged in once and played no games or started one game that they did not finish. They also know that huge numbers of multiple accounts exist because these people who log in once never remember their password when they return two years later for another inactive look-see.

Just compare the number of players who have played a game in the last six months to the total number of members. Is it 10%?

Dmfed
Ziryab skrev:

Chess.com has always counted inactive accounts of members who logged in once and played no games or started one game that they did not finish. They also know that huge numbers of multiple accounts exist because these people who log in once never remember their password when they return two years later for another inactive look-see.

Just compare the number of players who have played a game in the last six months to the total number of members. Is it 10%?

I kinda get why people would want to inflate their relevance with "technically correct" numbers but would it be that hard to differentiate between "total members" and "members who played 10 games and were active in the past month"? How many of all those glorious chess players are either kids or adults who thought "Yeah, I'm tots gonna learn chess now" just to drop it one week later, multiple accounts because passwords are hard, multiple accounts because smurfing and trolling is fun and not to forget the "Hello fellow chess players, I too love to move horseys. But to really enjoy the game I use <insert product placement>, and so could you if you only click on <insert link to blatant product ad>"? 

I would count as more of a chess player then any of those: I have played in different clubs, I have been to one tournament in late 90's and I play daily games on and off for over a decade. And even I don't really care about WM. So FIDEs numbers of active tournament players is probably more reasonable as a total viewership potential. Since a lot of players wouldn't watch but some hobby players or non-players might watch, specially if the streamer/twitcher is entertaining enough.

Ziryab
Dmfed wrote:
Ziryab skrev:

Chess.com has always counted inactive accounts of members who logged in once and played no games or started one game that they did not finish. They also know that huge numbers of multiple accounts exist because these people who log in once never remember their password when they return two years later for another inactive look-see.

Just compare the number of players who have played a game in the last six months to the total number of members. Is it 10%?

I kinda get why people would want to inflate their relevance with "technically correct" numbers but would it be that hard to differentiate between "total members" and "members who played 10 games and were active in the past month"? How many of all those glorious chess players are either kids or adults who thought "Yeah, I'm tots gonna learn chess now" just to drop it one week later, multiple accounts because passwords are hard, multiple accounts because smurfing and trolling is fun and not to forget the "Hello fellow chess players, I too love to move horseys. But to really enjoy the game I use <insert product placement>, and so could you if you only click on <insert link to blatant product ad>"? 

I would count as more of a chess player then any of those: I have played in different clubs, I have been to one tournament in late 90's and I play daily games on and off for over a decade. And even I don't really care about WM. So FIDEs numbers of active tournament players is probably more reasonable as a total viewership potential. Since a lot of players wouldn't watch but some hobby players or non-players might watch, specially if the streamer/twitcher is entertaining enough.

 

Several students of mine who are getting private lessons are barely aware the World Championship is taking place. Some of them actively play online. Some do not.

I have watched or followed 80% of the WCCs since 1975. 100% in the 21st century, following at least a few games in every match live. But I also play chess about 340 days per year and teach it most weeks.

lfPatriotGames

I just typed in "how many people in the world play chess". I get mostly three responses. 600 million, 605 million, and 800 million. Nobody knows for sure, but that seems about right. I don't see why it matters though. Even if it were 200 million, it's still a LOT less popular to watch on TV than sports. It's quite common for people who do not play sports to watch those sports. But it's going to be pretty rare to find someone who does not play chess to watch chess. 

Yesterday we watched the civil war game between OSU and UofO. I'll bet the large majority of people watching do not play football. But they watched anyway. In contrast, wasn't there a world chess championship game recently also? Does anyone really believe the large majority of people watching do not play chess?

That's not the only difference between chess and sports, but it's certainly a noticeable one. 

Dmfed
lfPatriotGames skrev:

That's not the only difference between chess and sports, but it's certainly a noticeable one. 

Poker and backgammon, such great sports!

And you clearly ignored about "either easy to understand for non-players or culturaly relevant activity". I bet more people in Sweden cared about and watched WM in Chess than American Grab-n-Run ball so... chess is a sport now and "fotball" is a game (which it is, people should learn that most sport are ALSO games unless one chooses one of the more exlusive definition like Crawfords).

Also no, just no on the 200 - 800 million players. Once again, just because I tried skateboarding for a month in sixth grade does not make me a skater. 

lfPatriotGames
Dmfed wrote:
lfPatriotGames skrev:

That's not the only difference between chess and sports, but it's certainly a noticeable one. 

Poker and backgammon, such great sports!

And you clearly ignored about "either easy to understand for non-players or culturaly relevant activity". I bet more people in Sweden cared about and watched WM in Chess than American Grab-n-Run ball so... chess is a sport now and "fotball" is a game (which it is, people should learn that most sport are ALSO games unless one chooses one of the more exlusive definition like Crawfords).

Also no, just no on the 200 - 800 million players. Once again, just because I tried skateboarding for a month in sixth grade does not make me a skater. 

Do you have a better estimate on how many people in the world play chess? I still don't see why it matters. It's a lot more common for people to watch sports (that don't play those sports) than it is for people to watch chess (that dont play chess). In your estimation, how many people do you think are watching the world chess championship that don't play chess?

Dmfed
lfPatriotGames skrev:

Do you have a better estimate on how many people in the world play chess? I still don't see why it matters. It's a lot more common for people to watch sports (that don't play those sports) than it is for people to watch chess (that dont play chess). In your estimation, how many people do you think are watching the world chess championship that don't play chess?

No I don't but probably FIDEs 350 000 (number of active tournament players) x 10 - 100 is what I would have guess. So 3 500 000 to 35 000 000 people who could be counted as somewhat active players.

I guess that a lot of them are just like me, we wouldn't get anything out of watching WM. Chess demands a higher investment in the game and game theory to understand what is happening and why. The, just like I, probably prefere to play instead of watch.

On the other hand, a lot of non-players watched poker when it was on TV because it was very easy to follow and you could go and try playing (with friends, family or online) right after the game. Much better format for "plug-n-play".

And while most physical activities are easier for viewer to follow, there are a lot of less popular sports where viewers are active players + their family + former players + some randoms. Unless, and I repeat myself, the activity has cultural value. 

Ziryab

Current active players in US (less than 27K) are many thousands fewer than today's chess.com audience on Twitch (more than 40K).



Of course, chess.com has an international audience.

Dmfed

@Ziryab: Don't know if you know that but are there any streams of WM from Russia? I would bet that if there are than in those 40k, there are almost no russians included.

Same with people who started watch chess when streamers/youtubers/twitchers got in on the trend, they probably don't know or care about chess.com channel and instead watch their streamers.

lfPatriotGames
Dmfed wrote:
lfPatriotGames skrev:

Do you have a better estimate on how many people in the world play chess? I still don't see why it matters. It's a lot more common for people to watch sports (that don't play those sports) than it is for people to watch chess (that dont play chess). In your estimation, how many people do you think are watching the world chess championship that don't play chess?

No I don't but probably FIDEs 350 000 (number of active tournament players) x 10 - 100 is what I would have guess. So 3 500 000 to 35 000 000 people who could be counted as somewhat active players.

I guess that a lot of them are just like me, we wouldn't get anything out of watching WM. Chess demands a higher investment in the game and game theory to understand what is happening and why. The, just like I, probably prefere to play instead of watch.

On the other hand, a lot of non-players watched poker when it was on TV because it was very easy to follow and you could go and try playing (with friends, family or online) right after the game. Much better format for "plug-n-play".

And while most physical activities are easier for viewer to follow, there are a lot of less popular sports where viewers are active players + their family + former players + some randoms. Unless, and I repeat myself, the activity has cultural value. 

Exactly. You would rather play than watch chess. Chess, unlike sports, is incredibly boring to watch. This is one of the reasons chess is different than sports. If you had to guess, how many people watching the Super Bowl don't play football? And, if you had to guess, how many people watching the world chess championship don't play chess? 

Ziryab
Dmfed wrote:

@Ziryab: Don't know if you know that but are there any streams of WM from Russia? I would bet that if there are than in those 40k, there are almost no russians included.

Same with people who started watch chess when streamers/youtubers/twitchers got in on the trend, they probably don't know or care about chess.com channel and instead watch their streamers.

 

As I stated at the beginning of this part of the discussion, chess.com's Twitch stream is one of a great many possible ways to watch and likely far from the most popular. That's it is producing reasonably impressive numbers is a fair indication that the audience for live chess at classic time controls is substantial. And yes, this audience is almost exclusively people with a reasonably decent understanding of the game.

Of course, football (both international and American versions) commands a far larger audience.

 

Dmfed
lfPatriotGames skrev:

Exactly. You would rather play than watch chess. Chess, unlike sports, is incredibly boring to watch. This is one of the reasons chess is different than sports. If you had to guess, how many people watching the Super Bowl don't play football? And, if you had to guess, how many people watching the world chess championship don't play chess? 

And since many people watch poker who didn't play it, it was a sport? Also, beside UFC and maybe some 2-3 min in every second Olympic I don't watch any of the martial arts and yet I happily train(ed) judo, same thing for weight lifting. 

Chess is not a good spectator sport, that's all you have proven here. There are probably more sports like that. And Super Bowl is a culturaly relevant activity for you Americans.

There is also the ease of access to the activity for fans: if I like Poker, Chess or Body Building, I could easy start those activities the next day. Same thing can hardly be said about American Football.

And here you go about cultural relevancy: https://worldchess.com/news/all/in-russia-chess-is-so-popular-that-special-chips-are-produced-fo/

Bet almost none of them watch Super Bowl tho.

lfPatriotGames
Dmfed wrote:
lfPatriotGames skrev:

Exactly. You would rather play than watch chess. Chess, unlike sports, is incredibly boring to watch. This is one of the reasons chess is different than sports. If you had to guess, how many people watching the Super Bowl don't play football? And, if you had to guess, how many people watching the world chess championship don't play chess? 

And since many people watch poker who didn't play it, it was a sport? Also, beside UFC and maybe some 2-3 min in every second Olympic I don't watch any of the martial arts and yet I happily train(ed) judo, same thing for weight lifting. 

Chess is not a good spectator sport, that's all you have proven here. There are probably more sports like that. And Super Bowl is a culturaly relevant activity for you Americans.

There is also the ease of access to the activity for fans: if I like Poker, Chess or Body Building, I could easy start those activities the next day. Same thing can hardly be said about American Football.

And here you go about cultural relevancy: https://worldchess.com/news/all/in-russia-chess-is-so-popular-that-special-chips-are-produced-fo/

Bet almost none of them watch Super Bowl tho.

All sports are spectator sports. Because there is action, something going on. Something to identify with or follow even if you don't play. But chess isn't a spectator sport because it's not a sport. If you don't play, there is nothing to follow. No action, nothing to identify with. 

It's hard to imagine a football player not aware the Super Bowl is on. But I'll bet there are a LOT of chess players that dont know the world chess championship is on. Cultural relevance is great and everything, but I'm talking about the entire world, where all players and all viewers are taken into account. 

Dmfed
lfPatriotGames skrev:
 

All sports are spectator sports. Because there is action, something going on. Something to identify with or follow even if you don't play. But chess isn't a spectator sport because it's not a sport. If you don't play, there is nothing to follow. No action, nothing to identify with. 

It's hard to imagine a football player not aware the Super Bowl is on. But I'll bet there are a LOT of chess players that dont know the world chess championship is on. Cultural relevance is great and everything, but I'm talking about the entire world, where all players and all viewers are taken into account. 

Not all sports are spectator sport or the term would be pointless: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectator_sport

By your definition poker is now a sport. So was chess at the time of Bobby Fischer.

Cultural relevance is important since mostly nobody else except Americans care about Super Bowl. Now football, or soccer as it is called in one country, is really international. 

And lastly you got a link about how Russians watch chess. Most of them are players just because it is extremely easy to learn and play chess without leaving your home, just like poker.

lfPatriotGames
Dmfed wrote:
lfPatriotGames skrev:
 

All sports are spectator sports. Because there is action, something going on. Something to identify with or follow even if you don't play. But chess isn't a spectator sport because it's not a sport. If you don't play, there is nothing to follow. No action, nothing to identify with. 

It's hard to imagine a football player not aware the Super Bowl is on. But I'll bet there are a LOT of chess players that dont know the world chess championship is on. Cultural relevance is great and everything, but I'm talking about the entire world, where all players and all viewers are taken into account. 

Not all sports are spectator sport or the term would be pointless: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectator_sport

By your definition poker is now a sport. So was chess at the time of Bobby Fischer.

Cultural relevance is important since mostly nobody else except Americans care about Super Bowl. Now football, or soccer as it is called in one country, is really international. 

And lastly you got a link about how Russians watch chess. Most of them are players just because it is extremely easy to learn and play chess without leaving your home, just like poker.

I don't think poker is a sport either, but I can see how it could be interpreted that way. There is probably some physical skill involved in fooling the opponent into thinking you have something you dont. That probably takes actual physical skill, like moving your eyes a certain way, or body language that professional liars have to perfect. A lot of people watching a game doesn't make it a sport. The physical skill makes it a sport. So chess isn't a sport, no matter how many people watch it. 

The point is sports typically are much more fun to watch than board games. Even if you don't play a sport, it's still fun to watch because it's so much easier to identify with what's going on. Hitting a ball or running faster or jumping higher. There is some kind of action that's usually easy to figure out. But chess, or most any other board game, is boring to watch because if you don't play it, there is no way to identify with it. It's just two people sitting in a chair staring at a board. Sitting in a chair staring at a board is not a sport. 

That wiki article on spectator sport is great by the way, the examples it gives as non spectator sports are the same ones people have tried to say are not sports at all. So that's interesting.