Chess Fever sweeps the nation – WATE 6 On Your Side

Posted: Oct 13, 2021 / 09:50 AM EDT

Updated: Oct 13, 2021 / 09:50 AM EDT

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) World records may be broken, bonds built, and rivalries rekindled as the bestchessplayers in the country converge on theChessCapital of the United States, Saint Louis, for the 2021 U.S. & U.S. WomensChessChampionships, an elite, invitation-only gathering designed to discern one thing: who has the right to stand atop the pinnacle of their sport and definitively declare checkmate?

Many viewers across the country may find themselves extra interested in the tournaments this year, as interest inchesshas gone viral following the wildly popular release of the Netflix miniseriesThe Queens Gambitand the extra time at home to both watch and learn to play due to COVID-19. In fact, 62 million households streamed the show in the first month that it was available.Chesssearches on Amazon skyrocketed to 857% on Amazon in that same month, andchesssets even made it into the Top 25 Toys on the popular e-commerce site in 2020. Registration has almost tripled since 2017 and is boasting 1.5 million players daily. To not say thatchesshas taken the country by storm would be a blunder!

We had the opportunity to sit down with the first-ever African-American Grandmaster and U.S.ChessHall of Famer Maurice Ashley.

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Chess Fever sweeps the nation - WATE 6 On Your Side

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