Ilyumzhinov: "The number of chess players worldwide is approaching 650 million"

The number of people playing chess worldwide is constantly increasing and is approaching 650 million, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov said.

"Four years ago, at our request, an English company conducted a study on number of people playing chess in the world. It turned to be 600 million. We will conduct another study soon but it is certain that the number of chess players has increased by millions over the year," Ilyumzhinov said.

He noted that numerous chess academies, clubs and centers have opened in many countries of the world over the past year.
"A few days ago, on International Chess Day, I opened a new chess club with excellent computerized playing rooms in the capital of Kazakhstan -- Astana and Dinara Saduakassova academy. Numerous chess clubs are opening now in Kazakhstan and in many other countries. Chess was included into school curriculums both as a compulsory and optional subject in many cities and countries."
"Over the past year, we have started active cooperation with one of the publishing houses. This year alone, 250000 copies of textbooks were printed and immediately distributed. Chess classes and lessons appeared in many regions -- not only in schools but also in kindergartens. I consider this a serious achievement along with the holding the World Chess Champions in New York and in the capital of Azerbaijan Baku. The latter one was the best in all time of Olympics," Ilyumzhinov added.