16 Sep 2012, Kuala Lumpur – The Chess magazine for the month of September 2012 produced monthly by The Magazine Printing Company in the U.K. had recently been received and was leafing through the pages discovering some interesting global statistics.
The Chess magazine had statistics produced by AGON/YouGov which said “ According to authoritative polling organisation You Gov, across varied national demographic profiles (US, UK, Germany, Russia, India), a surprisingly stable 70% of the adult population has played chess at some point during their lives. Even if they played as children but left it behind as they grew up, they still retain a deep admiration for the game.
Across the board, chess players and non-players alike rank chess significantly higher than any other game or sport for attributes such as intelligence, sophistication, strategy, perfection and complexity. Most surprising is the percentage of adults who actually currently play chess (either weekly, monthly or during the past year): 12% in the UK (6 million); 15% in the U.S. (35 million); 43% in Russia (50 million); and 70% among the 121 m Indians considered ABC1 by advertisers (85 million)…. Current chess players are better informed than those who either used to or never played chess: they are five times more likely to read The Guardian, The New Scientist or The Week (in the U.K.) or two and half times more likely to read the The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist or The New Yorker (in the U.S.).”
The report continues to say that “ Although chess has very low barriers to entry and is played across the socioeconomic spectrum, in the U.S. 78% of regular chess players are university graduates and among the households with incomes over USD $120,000, 21% are regular chess players.
I just wonder what would be the survey findings be for Malaysia if one was done by AGON/YouGov. Even if we guess 5% of Malaysians play chess, that figure would translate to 1.3 million people. What does it need to make chess popular in Malaysia and to eventually fuel Malaysia’s future generations of Grandmasters and International Masters.