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Only 7% of People Know The Name of The Current World Chess Champion

Magnus Carlsen, the current World Chess Champion, stunned fans earlier this week by announcing that he will not be defending his title in the next match and will effectively retire from the Championship cycle (but not from chess).

Photo: World Chess

YouGov, the leading research company and FIDE Online Arena, the official gaming platform of the International Chess Federation, conducted a survey in the US and the UK to determine how many people know the name of the World Champion and which country he is from. The survey results were surprising, only 7 percent of people asked in the UK (9 percent in the US) could correctly pick the name of the World Champion out of 10 options. 4 percent of all respondents incorrectly said that the title is still held by Garry Kasparov, who retired from competitive chess in 2005, whilst 77 percent indicated that they don’t know the current World Champion’s name.

Results were similar when asked where the Champion is from, with 6 percent of the respondents correctly indicating that the Champion is from Norway, while 15 percent erroneously believe that the current Champion hails from Russia, and 5 percent believe that the Champion is from the United States (the last American World Chess Champion was Bobby Fischer in 1972).

The survey also offered remarkable insight into chess demographics; 14 percent of young adults (18 to 24 year old) correctly named the World Chess Champion versus 4 percent among the older respondents (55+). According to these findings, chess is seemingly more popular among younger demographics both in the US and the UK.

The inaugural report, the first official Chess Awareness Barometer, will be released annually to measure awareness and popularity of the elite chess players and the World Chess Champion.

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