Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Cities are even using chess to boost their image and tourism. Many US cities are putting chess tables in public parks and organize local chess events. Professor David Robertson of John Moores University and chairman of the Liverpool Chess Foundation said:
A year ago we had the idea to broaden the basis of the 2008 Capital of Culture year by staging a number of international chess tournaments to put Liverpool on a par with other European chess cities, such as Turin, Dresden, Zurich and Budapest ... Other European cities have found chess to be a relatively cheap and extremely helpful way of boosting their image around the world ... With the exception of football (soccer), chess is the only game with a global reach. It is a completely inclusive game, neutral to gender, class and ethnicity. We want to use it to create a new image alongside the familiar images of Liverpool, selling the finer qualities of the city.
Moreover, there are countless commercials, TV shows and movies that include chess scenes. There is even a book devoted to the latter. Many celebrities and athletes love chess and publicly talk about its wonderful benefits. It is an amazing phenomenon!
The rest of my column can be read here.