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Why are teens suddenly obsessed with chess? 

    According to the New York Times, chess hasn’t been this popular since the 1972 World Chess Championship. A surge in chess interest began in 2020, thanks in part to Netflix‘s The Queen’s Gambit. That was the beginning of the chess boom. Chess has risen in popularity since then, and it was introduced to middle and high school students in January.

    The sudden surge in popularity prompted, the most popular chess app, to crash, prompting the company to dramatically update its servers. had 10 million active subscribers by late January. According to the report, it peaked at over 12 million each day in April.

    “Covid lockdowns created an environment where people stayed home and indoors, and they started to look for things to do,” said Erik Allebest, CEO of “Puzzle sales went through the roof. So did board games. In fact, all gaming surged, both online and offline. Chess, the granddaddy of all games, garnered a lot of attention.”

    Fun Fact: The longest official game of chess took place in 1989 that went on for 20 hours and included 269 moves.

    Tony M.