Turning Chess into a True Spectator Sport

Published on Sep 11, 2023

From Royalty to Reality Bets

Once a game reserved for kings, chess has undergone transformative shifts over the centuries. The next stage? It’s setting up to become not just a game to play, but a sport to watch and wager on.

As technology reshapes our interactions and experiences, chess should also embrace a transformative phase. Rather than being just a test of wits between two players, it now has the opportunity to evolve into a gripping spectator sport. With the surge in online wagering (due in most part to platforms like Twitch, Stake ), audiences are no longer interested in passively engaging but instead look to add a layer of exhilarating stakes to their favourite games.

1. A Timeless Game Gets a Time-Sensitive Thrill

Wagering on sports is as old as the games themselves. With heartbeats aligned to ticking clocks, each move in a chess game can now hold financial implications, adding a layer of adrenaline to the cerebral game. It’s not just about predicting the game’s end result, but the numerous possibilities within.

This dynamic evolution positions chess uniquely among sports. As enthusiasts cast their bets, they’re not solely wagering on the prowess of the Grandmaster but on the myriad strategies that might unfold. This deeper engagement not only transforms the viewing experience but also elevates chess to an exhilarating arena where the stakes rise with every piece moved.

2. Spectator Engagement 2.0

A recent article on Forbes delved into the future of betting on chess. The story is clear: there’s vast untapped potential here. When spectators have a stake in the game, their engagement level skyrockets. No longer are they passive observers; they’re active participants, hanging onto every move.

The beauty of chess lies in its intricate strategies and unpredictable outcomes. By introducing the element of wagering, the game’s inherent suspense is amplified tenfold. Players are not just battling their opponents; they’re also contending with the expectations and predictions of an engaged audience. This intersection of intellectual rigour and the thrilling unpredictability of betting sets the stage for a revolution in how we perceive and experience the grand game of chess.

3. Chess + More $$$ = Wider Audience Appeal (proven mathematically)

Chess, historically a sport with little value unless you’re in the top percentile, has limited opportunity to incentivise new players to treat it seriously. A good example is the Australian Doeberl Cup; total prize pool is $25,000 and first prize is $4,000. Let’s look at the FIDE World Cup; total prize pool is $2.5 million — getting better right? Yeah not so much. Contrast this with the Fortnite World Cup. $30,000,000. That’s how much they’re paying teens and young adults to compete in Fortnite. First prize gets a modest $3,000,000 — the entire FIDE World Cup prize pool.

Now imagine you’re an upcoming chess player and knew you had years of work ahead of you to maybe win a measly $4,000? (and that’s AUD). It doesn’t necessarily inspire hope.

Adding a level of spectating can help to level this playing field. With more money coming into the sport, there’s more opportunity to use it properly and funnel it back into the next generation of players. More money brings more players, more players bring more sponsors, more sponsors bring more money and so on and so on. You see the pattern here. A circular economy is the key to driving chess into the forefront eSports

4. Technology’s Role in Reinvention

Enter Chess3 and its innovative use of Web3 technology. With a P2P wagering system underpinned by smart contracts, it offers a reliable and transparent platform for players to wager against each other. This isn’t about changing chess’s essence but augmenting the experience for players.

This fusion of ancient strategy with modern technology sets the stage for a transformative experience. As each game unfolds, the immutable nature of blockchain ensures trust and clarity in every move.

Now, pie in the sky, we really would love to integrate on-game wagering into the platform. Right now, there’s some pretty hefty regulation that would prevent a little old startup from being able to do so. But our mission is to do this. We believe strongly in the future of chess as a sport that has massive spectator appeal. Conviction will drive us to the finish line.

Conclusion: The Future is a Game of Kings and Bets

As Chess evolves and embraces the modern trend of wagering, it’s setting itself up as a sport for the ages — a game where skill meets strategy, and spectators can be as invested as the players themselves. With platforms like Chess3 at the helm, we feel pretty good about the future of chess overall.

The integration of wagering introduces an exhilarating dimension to the game, transforming the passive act of watching into an active engagement filled with anticipation. Every pawn’s move, every strategic gambit, is no longer just a matter of board supremacy, but of potential gains and losses off the board.

As Chess3 pioneers this evolution, it invites both enthusiasts and newcomers to experience chess not just as a duel of minds, but as a collective journey where stakes, strategies, and passions intertwine.