Interest in chess was in steady decline until the release of The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, which as sparked more interest in the game than anything else in 15 years. 

I started Acadiana Chess Club in 2011, and I also had a chess club in high school. We’ve always had a steady group of members in our club, but in general the size of the club has been modest. But after the release of Queens Gambit, we’ve had a surge of people reaching out and asking where we play chess. I hadn’t watched or even heard of The Queen’s Gambit, so I had no idea what was generating all of this interest. When my friend told me about the show, I looked up the release date and cross-referenced it with Google Trends’ report on general interest in chess, and it lined up perfectly. 

This graph of the past 4 years also shows the sharp spike of interest in the game due to the Netflix show.

With this huge increase in interest, the gaming community on Twitch also saw a rise in channels and users willing to stream or watch chess online. This report from Sully Gnome shows how chess has evolved on Twitch over the last 365 days. The chart on the left indicates users who watch chess, while the chart on the right indicates channels that stream chess.

Come play or learn chess with locals at Acadiana Chess Club

So if you’re interested learning or playing chess in a local club, check out our calendar of chess events, or reach out to me to schedule lessons to begin learning chess. You can also become a member of ACC  by filling out the membership form. There are no membership fees and it will help you to connect with other local chess players.

New to chess? Here’s how you get started:

  • Chess.com
    • Chess.com is a great place to start practicing chess. Create an account, and you can start playing games with players of your skill level. Playing rated games will assure that you will eventually be playing evenly matched players.
    • Chess.com also offers daily chess puzzles, drills, and beginner lessons that start with the basics of the game.
    • Be sure to check out our ACC members page so that you can play local Acadians on chess.com
    • Follow Chess.com on Twitch to see live tournaments and games
    • Chess.com will also help you to stay informed on major chess tournaments around the globe, and allow you to watch and analyze live games played by International Masters and Grandmasters.
  • Anna Rudolf
    • Anna Rudolf is a chess grandmaster who regularly streams chess games on Twitch. She’s a great role model for all chess players, especially women.
  • Hikaru Nakamura
    • Hikaru is another chess Grandmaster who is very popular on Twitch!