National Chess Day

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

It’s also a game that’s 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 goes 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’s a holiday that’s been celebrated every year ever since.

Fun Facts About Chess

Looking for some chess-related trivia to share with your friends and family 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 collected below. We think that while some people might know some of the facts we’ve listed, most people 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 contained 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 that knight visits every square one time.
  • The number of possible Knight Tour combinations is approximately 122 million.
  • At the age of 22, Soviet chess player Garry Kasparov became the youngest World Chess Champion. He was just 22 years old.
  • Athletes in their first year are called rookies after chess’s Rook. The rook 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 every 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 word Latin word “pignus.” This word means to pledge.
  • When chess was first created, the Queen could only move one square at a time diagonally.
  • It wouldn’t be 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 chess the game. You might also want to use the hashtag #NationalChessDay on your social media accounts for the day to spread the word about this holiday all over the world.

When is it?
This year (2023)
October 14 Saturday
Next year (2024)
October 12 Saturday
Last year (2022)
October 8 Saturday
Fun & Joy, Hobby & Creativity