The game of chess continues to maintain its popularity all around the world. In fact, if anything, the popularity continues to grow at unimaginable rates, considering the fact that the game is several centuries old. And during history there were some cities which were considered chess capitals, meaning that the people living there took considerable pride in promoting and playing the game of chess. Below you will find some more information on some of the greatest chess cities that exist to this day.
Chess in Cuba
We’ll begin this list by mentioning the capital of Cuba, the city of Havana. Havana is a big city with well over two million inhabitants and it has given birth to one of the greatest chess players of all time – Jose Raul Capablanca. Some of the greatest chess minds would say that he was, in fact, the greatest chess player to ever live. The citizens of Havana love to play chess – there are many chess tournaments that are held on a regular basis there. One of the most famous chess tournaments in the world is the Capablanca Memorial Tournament, held on a yearly basis. This tournament is known for the fact that Bobby Fischer took second place in 1965 while playing via telex all the way from New York City.
Chess in St Petersburg
The city of St. Petersburg is one of the biggest cities in Russia. And considering the fact that Russians are obsessed with the game of chess, it goes without saying that St. Petersburg should be considered a chess capital. There are many casual chess players and chess grandmasters alike that come from this city. In fact, some chess historians say that the term “grandmaster” originates from this city when Tsar Nikolas II awarded this title to Capablanca, Lasker, Tarrasch, Alekhine, and Marshall, at the end of the St. Petersburg chess tournament in 1914.
Chess in London
London has been in vogue when it comes to the game of chess for a long time now. This great city has had a long history of organizing great chess tournaments where some of the best chess players in the world have competed with one another. In fact, this city trails solely behind the city of Moscow when it comes to the number of official chess tournaments that are organized in the city. What made this city famous in chess history is the 2000 world chess championship which was held in London. One Vladimir Kramnik managed to shock the world by defeating the heavy favorite Garry Kasparov.
Chess in Moscow
And no list of some of the greatest chess cities in the world can ever be complete without mentioning what’s known as the chess capital of the world – the city of Moscow in Russia. This city has hosted a grand total of 12 chess world championships and has been the home of 9 chess world champions. It has a rich history when it comes to chess and some of the best chess players in the world came from this city.
If you love the game of chess, then you would do well to visit some of these chess capitals around the world.