You may be surprised to learn that sex and chess have quite a bit in common. They’re both easy to learn, hard to master, and really, really fun to practice.
That’s perhaps one of the reasons that the 1500-year-old board game has experienced such a massive resurgence the past few years, leaving other pandemic hobbies like bread-baking and gardening in the dirt.
The website of the world’s largest online chess community, Chess.com, reported 11.1 million new users from March 2020 to March 2021. A recent episode of the Netflix documentary series “Explained” delved into the explosive growth of chess, narrated by devoted chess fan and actor Rainn Wilson.
Chess has been around for centuries, but it’s freshly trending popularity has been fueled by a multi-pronged strategy, requiring several pieces to fall into place – not unlike the alluring “Queen’s Gambit,” the novel-turned-Netflix series, which was released October 23, 2020, but still ended up the network’s third most-watched series of the year, beating out “Tiger King.”
It’s no secret that playing and, crucially, watching online games of all sorts has taken off over the past few years. Chess has been a player in that world since the beginning, with Chess.com signing a deal with the interactive, live streaming service Twitch in 2017. But chess claiming its spot as a king of the streaming, esporting world didn’t really start until after March 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown drove citizens across the world indoors – and online.
This created a perfect opening. Pre-internet, if a person wanted to get better at chess, they could play against friends, join a club and read books about strategy. The rules of chess are simple; it’s the endless possibilities that make the game so endlessly varied and fascinating. The more you play, the more you learn how to play.
The advent of ever-present online and mobile chess platforms has meant that players of all levels find a match any time, anywhere, and they have countless hours and games to watch at their fingertips so they can study the elite grandmasters at work.
For many of them, chess has become real work, in the sense that the many top players and streamers are now able to earn real money from their success. The growth of chess as an esport has meant that players can earn a living from online play and endorsements. Over the last couple of years, companies as varied as McDonalds, G-Fuel and Hennessy cognac have signed popular players to lucrative contracts.
The Play Magnus Group, which was founded by reigning World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen with the aim of expanding the chess community online, raised $30 million when it went public in October 2020; six months later, its value had surged to $152 million.
Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura became a key player in the new chess community when he served as chess coach for a day for Twitch streaming star xQc (aka Felix Lengyel).
Two months later, they both appeared at PogChamps, a transformational amatuer online chess tournament that was so successful it led to three subsequent PogChamps events in the following 18 months. Over the four events, pros like Nakamura offered coaching and commentary to a pool of players that included Twitch streamers, YouTubers, and celebrity chess fans Rainn Wilson and Logic the rapper. For a period, a video from Pogchamps was the top viewed content on Twitch – beating out more predictable winners like Fortnite.
The appetite for chess is expected to increase right around Thanksgiving when the Norwegian Carlsen will battle his Russian challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi in Dubai at a several days-long tournament beginning Friday, November 26. As even more evidence of chess’s new fanbase, key moments will be broadcast nightly on NBC. At stake is a $2.7 million purse, as well as the title of the best in the world.
The Cannabis Connection
So what does this have to do with cannabis and Genius? There’s a host of Reddit boards that speak to the crossover appeal of bringing cannabis’s relaxation to the tense atmosphere of the chess table.
In fact, though it scandalized some old school members of the chess community, both Carlsen and Nakamura have played and won with what’s called the “Bongcloud opening,” an unconventional start to a game in which the player purposefully weakens their king at the start. The two champions famously used this opening against each other in a highly viewed online match that ended in a draw.
But while most serious players wouldn’t compete while wasted, a thoughtful combination of single-strain of cannabis sativa, known to aid in mental sharpness, and additional plant medicines can work together to address cognitive focus, memory enhancement, and concentration. 1906 Genius Drops are discrete, swallowable tablets that contain the optimal formula of natural wonders including: Rhodiola to optimize brain function and reduce stress; Bacopa, an Ayurvedic herb to help improve memory and cognition and caffeine, L-theanine, Theobromine, and Galangal for sustained energy and lucid thinking.
These are all perfect brain enhancers to lead to the state of sustained calm, hyper-focus, and lightning-fast brain power needed to choose when to castle or whether or not to send your knight or your queen out to battle.
Genius contains the lowest dose of THC (2.5 mg) of all 1906 products. And with its rapid onset of 20 minutes or less, you’ll be ready to take on chess’s complex cognitive challenges in about the time it takes to set up a board. Unlike some other caffeine-powered substances, Genius will not make users agitated, “speedy,” or jittery, and it has no unpleasant hangover effects.
We’ve heard from so many Genius fans who tell us these sunny yellow Drops help them bust through procrastination, bring a higher focus to complicated projects, and find the perfect level of energy to best use all their gray matter.
Genius may be exactly what you need to choose whether to play the Italian game, the Berlin Wall, the Hedgehog variation of the English, or the Slav defense. We’re confident whichever chess opening you pick, with the addition of Genius, you’ll certainly have more fun doing it.
Find Genius in select dispensaries in Colorado, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Oklahoma.