Gary Kasparov is a man who knows his chess. In 1985, he became the
youngest undisputed World Chess Champion at age 22. He held the official
World Chess Foundation title until 1993, when he set up his own
organization (The Professional Chess Association) as a result of a
dispute with the FDIE. In short, if you've questions about the sport,
Kasparov's the man to ask.
Of course, chess hasn't really been in
the limelight all that much lately. Many strategy games provide just
about the same degree of mental stimulation, while giving a great deal
more entertaniment (particularly for young men and women). Chess, it
seems, has fallen by the wayside.
Kasparov himself made this discovery while touring in Seoul, South Korea; where he visited the Youth Mind Sports Fair.
There, he learned about the two most popular games in the region -
League of Legends and Starcraft 2- and the runaway success of eSports as
an industry. Shortly thereafter, the grandmaster took to Twitter to
weigh in on the matter. His stance?
Competitive eSports are
definitely popular, and they're certainly an important element of modern
culture. At the same time, they're not going to last forever. Chess has
outlasted entire civilizations; it's remained while empires crumbled
around it. From Kasparov's perspective, it'll still be around long after
eSports have fallen by the wayside.
"Tough for chess to
overtake League of Legends, the most popular game here, but I don't
think they'll play that in 100 years," tweeted Kasparov. "Chess, yes!"
reason, Kasparov explained, is that most video games lack true staying
power. Graphics, narrative conceits, and game mechanics often don't
withstand the test of time - the massive shift in style and content
we've seen over the past decade can certainly attest to that. As such,
while he's not dismissive of eSports by any stretch, he feels that video games lack the agelessness of a pastime like chess.
"People get bored with a computer game as soon as a new one comes out with slightly better graphics," he explained. "The strategic purity of chess is timeless for a reason. No storyline to tire of, no expansion packs to buy!"
can't argue with him there. Chess has been with us for centuries, and
it'll likely endure for centuries more. It's the nature of the game.