Best Chess Cities in The World

There is no doubt that chess is one of the oldest and most popular games with a large player base. The history of this game dates back to 600 AD and is still enjoyed to date. A lot of cultures have accepted chess, and we have seen the rise in the number of people playing chess today. While chess is widely played, there are cities that are more passionate about this game.

The following is our selection of the best chess cities that you can visit during your Student Travel. Whenever you have a chance to join educational tours for students, try to visit one of them.

Moscow, Russia

Russian love their chess and especially the city of Moscow. Moscow, which is Russia’s largest and the World’s 8th largest city, hosts the most chess players than any city. The chess city has been home to 9 chess world champions including Vasily Smyslov and more.

What’s more, the city was formerly the headquarters of Soviet’s Union’s chess activities in the 20th century. Moscow has also staged 15 world chess championships including the match between Anand and Gelfand in 2012—not to mention the Chess Olympiads in 1956 and 1994.

St Louis, Missouri

Missouri is home to one of the greatest chess cities in the world. St Louis, with a population of about 320,000 residents, is home to one of the largest chess clubs in the world-- The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. The efforts of CCSCSL have made the chess community continue to thrive in the city.

St Louis co-hosted with New York and New Orleans the world championship match between Wilhelm Steinitz and Johannes Zukertort in 1886. The city also hosted the last six U.S. chess championships and is home to world #5 GM Hikaru Nakamura. Besides, Sinquefield Cup was also hosted in this city.

New York, New York

Being the biggest city in the US, New York is undeniably the city with the strongest chess history. Chess is a popular game in this city and has attracted many grandmasters like Bobby Fischer over the years. You can find the game being played outside the Washington Square Park. Bobby Fischer and some other strong amateurs have frequented the park. Besides, Josh Waitzkin from the movie “Searching for Bobby Fischer” played in this famous park as well.

The city co-hosted with New Orleans and St Louis the world championship competition between Johannes Zukertort and Wilhelm Steinitz in 1886. Other matches held in this city include the super tournament in 1924, the 1995 world championship between Kasparov and Anand as well as the match between Kasparov and Blue.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik is the place to be if you want to play chess at the top of the world. With a population of 121, 000, Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland. This city is home to Iceland’s 8 chess grandmasters. This means that 1 out of 20,000 residents in the city is a grandmaster.
It is also home to the famous 1972 chess world championship between the remarkable Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky. The European team championship of 2015 also took place in Reykjavik, Iceland.

London, England

Not only is London the home to many castles, but also a chess hub. With a population of 8.3 million people, London is England’s largest city and is the second city to host more tournaments. London has hosted 7 world championships including the first international chess tournament in 1851. This tournament was won by Adolf Anderssen from Germany.
London was also home to the unquestionably famous world chess championship between Vladimir Kramnik and Garry Kasparov in 2000. Vladimir won the match.

St. Petersburg, Russia

Again, Russia has intense love for chess and St. Petersburg is home to many chess players and grandmasters. Being the second largest city in the country, countless of grandmasters have named St. Petersburg as their home. It is believed that the grandmaster title surfaced after the famous St. Petersburg tournament in 1914. In fact, it is in this tournament that five players were awarded by Russian Tsar Nicholas 2.

Chess is one of the most popular games in the world today. This game has an extensive history with various cities getting the opportunity to host world chess championships. The above cities have the most enthusiastic chess players and grandmasters. So the next time you are on Student Tours, be sure to visit these chess cities.