While touring in Seoul, South Korea for a local sports fair, chess grandmaster and 13th World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov took to Twitter to weigh in on eSports, which has become one of the most popular gaming activities in the region.
Kasparov — who is also chairman of the Human Rights Foundation — became the youngest undisputed World Chess Champion at age 22 in 1985 and held the official World Chess Foundation (FDIE) title until 1993. That year, he set up a rival chess organization, the Professional Chess Association, after a dispute with the FDIE.
After learning about League of Legends and StarCraft while at Seoul's Youth Mind Sports Fair, Kasparov tweeted that eSports, or "multiplayer computer game competitions," are currently more popular in Korea than chess and the board game go. However, he does not believe this will always be the case.
"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," he tweeted. "Chess, yes!
"People get bored with a computer game as soon as a new one comes out with slightly better graphics," he added. "Chess has captivated us for centuries."
As lazy as we like to pretend we are, our brains crave challenge & development all our lives. Chess feeds this need perfectly for all ages.— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) December 26, 2013
You can't change your hardware, that's your DNA. But you can definitely upgrade your mental software by questioning & learning every day.— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) December 26, 2013
Kasparov added that his knowledge of video games comes from his son, who is "a big expert" in Warcraft, as well as through conversations with game developers over the years. He added that narrative conceits and graphics age quickly, which makes board games without them, like chess, more likely to withstand the test of time.
"I am in no way dismissive of e-sports or video games," Kasparov wrote. "Many offer rich environments and strategic decision-making, not just cool pictures.
"Point was that the strategic purity of chess (or go, e.t.c.) is timeless for a reason," he added. "No storyline to tire of, no expansion packs to buy!"
Check out the Kasparov's feed for his other thoughts on eSports and his attendance at the Youth Mind Sports Fair.