'Population growth' – some interesting facts about chess

2/12/2012 – Before you read this article try to guess: which countries in the world have the largest number of international chess players, i.e. people with a FIDE rating? Which countries are growing fastest? Which have the most GMs, which the strongest? How many GMs, IMs, FMs are there world-wide? Here are some very illuminating statistics collected by Boris Schipkov for Chess Siberia.

ChessBase 14 Download ChessBase 14 Download

Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. Start your personal success story with ChessBase 14 and enjoy your chess even more!


Along with the ChessBase 14 program you can access the Live Database of 8 million games, and receive three months of free ChesssBase Account Premium membership and all of our online apps! Have a look today!

More...

Chess Statistics

On the web site Chess Siberia Boris Schipkov has taken a closer look at the January 2012 FIDE Rating List and come up with some interesting stats. There are, he notes, 133,549 players in the list, with an average rating of 1953.7. The greatest number of rated chess players live in (would you have guessed?) Germany – 15,442. The great chess nation Russia has 14,422 players with international ratings.

Number of internationally rated players

Pl Country
Nat.
Jan 2008
percent
Jan 2012
percent
1 Germany
GER
11,123
12.7
15,442
11.6
2 Russia
RUS
10,036
11.4
14,422
10.8
3 Spain
ESP
6,901
7.9
12,054
9.0
4 France
FRA
5,690
6.5
10,099
7.6
5 India
IND
3,370
3.8
7,954
6.0
6 Poland
POL
3,553
4.0
5,416
4.1
7 Italy
ITA
2,441
2.8
4,670
3.5
8 Hungary
HUN
2,893
3.3
4,216
3.2
9 Czech Republic
CZE
2,586
2.9
4,054
3.0
10 Serbia
SRB
2,396
2.7
3,043
2.3
11 United States
USA
1,824
2.1
2,691
2.0
12 Greece
GRE
1,252
1.4
2,375
1.8
13 Ukraine
UKR
1,643
1.9
2,355
1.8
14 Netherlands
NED
1,581
1.8
2,190
1.6
15 Austria
AUT
1,507
1.7
1,987
1.5
16 Romania
ROU
1,386
1.6
1,894
1.4
17 Brazil
BRA
1,041
1.2
1,885
1.4
18 Croatia
CRO
1,363
1.6
1,884
1.4
19 Slovakia
SVK
1,152
1.3
1,810
1.4
Other  
24,003
27.4
33,108
24.8
All  
87,741
100.0
133,549
100.0

Schipkov has examined the trend in the last four years and tracked the increase in the number of players. The greatest increase was in Spain, with 5153 new rated players, followed by India, France, Russia and Germany.

Increase in the number of rated players

Pl Country
Nat.
Jan 2008
Jan 2012
Increase
percent
1 Spain
ESP
6,901
12,054
5,153
74.67
2 India
IND
3,370
7,954
4,584
136.02
3 France
FRA
5,690
10,099
4,409
77.49
4 Russia
RUS
10,036
14,422
4,386
43.70
5 Germany
GER
11,123
15,442
4,319
38.83
6 Italy
ITA
2,441
4,670
2,229
91.32
7 Poland
POL
3,553
5,416
1,863
52.43
8 Czech Republic
CZE
2,586
4,054
1,468
56.77
9 Hungary
HUN
2,893
4,216
1,323
45.73
10 Greece
GRE
1,252
2,375
1,123
89.70
11 Iran
IRI
550
1,638
1,088
197.82
12 United States
USA
1,824
2,691
867
47.53
13 Turkey
TUR
610
1,466
856
140.33
14 Brazil
BRA
1,041
1,885
844
81.08
15 Ukraine
UKR
1,643
2,355
712
43.34
16 Slovakia
SVK
1,152
1,810
658
57.12
17 Serbia
SRB
2,396
3,043
647
27.00
18 Denmark
DEN
1,024
1,664
640
62.50
19 Peru
PER
258
871
613
237.60
20 Netherlands
NED
1,581
2,190
609
38.52
21 Belgium
BEL
635
1,229
594
93.54
All
87,741
133,549
45,808
52.21

Players from China now have the highest average rating – 2193.39. Players from Indonesia have the second highest average rating – 2163.53. Schpkov only took into consideration countries with more than 100 rated players. You should note that the general decrease in the average ratings is to be expected, as large numbers of new players join the lists. As beginners they are inevitably at the bottom of the ratings lists.

Average ratings of the rated players

Pl Country Nat.
Players
Ø Jan 2008
Ø Jan 2012
Change
1 China CHN
468
2235.60
2193.39
-42.21
2 Indonesia INA
212
2212.42
2163.53
-48.89
3 Kazakhstan KAZ
487
2184.24
2126.43
-57.81
4 Israel ISR
905
2175.11
2124.01
-51.10
5 Macedonia MKD
220
2173.25
2120.93
-52.32
6 United States USA
2,691
2193.93
2119.83
-74.10
7 Canada CAN
631
2155.56
2106.21
-49.36
8 Estonia EST
193
2155.65
2104.19
-51.46
9 Ukraine UKR
2,355
2182.17
2101.77
-80.40
10 Cuba CUB
1310
2140.39
2097.57
-42.82
11 Uzbekistan UZB
292
2171.56
2085.40
-86.16
12 Armenia ARM
422
2190.23
2081.91
-108.32
13 Sweden SWE
1,109
2146.03
2081.57
-64.46
14 Serbia SRB
3,043
2145.38
2080.95
-64.43
15 Montenegro MNE
279
2147.32
2064.06
-83.26
16 Finland FIN
586
2126.44
2059.97
-66.47
17 Russia RUS
14,422
2141.40
2059.80
-81.60
18 Latvia LAT
294
2141.32
2059.12
-82.20
19 Turkmenistan TKM
159
2148.79
2056.55
-92.24
20 Algeria ALG
131
2127.49
2056.48
-71.01
21 Netherlands NED
2,190
2112.81
2056.00
-56.81
All
133,549
2073.94
1953.70
-120.25

The largest number of titled players – grandmasters, International Masters and FIDE Masters – live in Russia. In second place is Ukraine, in third Germany. Here are the number of GMs and their average ratings.

Titled players

Pl. Country
2008
2012
Ch
AvR
IMs
FMs
WGM
WIM
1 Russia
177
206
29
2539.36
475
926
42
91
2 Ukraine
65
76
11
2556.29
192
114
20
30
3 Germany
67
75
8
2509.83
223
718
14
37
4 United States
61
69
8
2513.6
112
288
11
21
5 Serbia
46
52
6
2486.63
97
305
12
16
6 Hungary
40
49
9
2520.57
103
202
8
16
7 France
32
45
13
2540.53
95
155
5
17
8 Israel
34
39
5
2529.33
45
51
4
8
9 Spain
30
36
6
2505.53
102
254
3
10
10 England
35
35
0
2523.60
55
88
3
10
11 Bulgaria
25
33
8
2497.57
50
14
5
12
12 Poland
25
32
7
2548.19
96
115
10
24
13 Armenia
20
32
12
2540.97
22
14
4
7
14 Croatia
29
30
1
2517.23
54
122
3
8
15 China
20
29
9
2561.97
22
20
18
10
16 Netherlands
22
28
6
2543.93
74
136
3
13
17 Czech Republic
23
27
4
2508.33
68
120
5
12
18 India
16
25
9
2554.16
76
41
8
16
19 Georgia
22
24
2
2542.71
37
10
11
13
20 Romania
19
20
1
2532.00
68
87
12
13
21 Azerbaijan
16
20
4
2574.65
16
12
5
8
22 Cuba
13
19
6
2522.89
28
136
8
10
Other
282
283
1
2509.89
760
1696
41
168
All
1,119
1,284
165
2525.43
2,870
5,624
255
570

Source: Chess Siberia


Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register