National Chess Day

Chess is a game that has been played for over 1,500 years and was once enjoyed mainly by the noble classes of Asia and Europe. It requires strategic forethought, concentration, and is widely believed to sharpen the minds of all those who play it.

It is also a game celebrated with its own holiday—a holiday that falls on the second Saturday in October and is known as National Chess Day. So why not grab a board and one of your friends and enjoy spending the day with a few matches of this ancient game?

The History of National Chess Day

The observance of National Chess Day dates back to October 9th, 1976. This is when U.S. President Gerald Ford declared it as a holiday in conjunction with America’s bicentennial celebration. It has been celebrated every year ever since.

Fun Facts About Chess

Looking for some chess-related trivia to share with your friends and family on National Chess Day or any other day of the year? If you answered in the affirmative, then you might want to check out the collection of fun facts about chess that we have collected below. We think that while some people might know some of the facts we’ve listed, most will find the following bits of trivia to be quite surprising.

  • The number of possible unique chess games is greater than the number of electrons in the universe.
  • The longest chess game theoretically possible would contain over 5,940 moves.
  • A Knight’s Tour is the sequence of moves on a chessboard by a knight where the knight visits every square exactly once.
  • The number of possible Knight’s Tour combinations is approximately 122 million.
  • At the age of 22, Soviet chess player Garry Kasparov became the youngest World Chess Champion.
  • Athletes in their first year are called rookies after chess’s Rook, which is usually one of the last pieces to be moved on the board, and the same can be said for rookie athletes.
  • Counting variations, there are over 1,000 different chess openings that a player can learn.
  • The second book ever to be printed in English was a book on chess.
  • The oldest recorded chess game in history occurred during the 10th century in Baghdad.
  • “Pawn” comes from the Latin word “pignus,” which means to pledge.
  • When chess was first created, the Queen could only move one square at a time diagonally.
  • It was not until Reconquista Spain that the Queen became the strongest piece on the board.

Observing National Chess Day

Want to celebrate National Chess Day? If you do, then you might want to spend the day playing chess, watching chess tournaments, or teaching someone unfamiliar with the game. You might also want to use the hashtag #NationalChessDay on your social media accounts to spread the word about this holiday all over the world.

When is it?
This year (2024)
October 12 Saturday
Next year (2025)
October 11 Saturday
Last year (2023)
October 14 Saturday
Fun & Joy, Hobby & Creativity