Looking back, several famous people from the entertainment world play chess. The game of chess is not just for the grandmasters. It is a game of tack and strategy. And in many ways, chess imitates life, hence the game’s appeal to many people.
Famous people like Steve Jobs, Heath Ledger, Hedy Lamar, and Humphrey Bogart were avid chess players. They used chess not only as a distraction when the stresses of their lives became too much, but it redirected their already busy minds to a more focal point and to focus on their art.
If you want to know about the famous people in entertainment who play chess, Read On! They are actors, entertainers, sportspeople, and musicians who didn’t enjoy playing just the game but practiced the philosophies of the game in real life.
10 Famous People Who Play Chess
Millions of people have enjoyed chess for centuries, and it’s no secret that several famous people from the entertainment world have taken to playing this game of tact and strategy.
Whether it’s the intellectual challenge, the strategic nature, or the social aspect, these famous people have made chess part of their lives.
1. Steve Jobs
The Apple founder was an avid chess player. However, he played a version of chess called Kriegspiel. It’s a German version founded around the nineteenth century and regarded as more complex than regular chess.
Jobs was that person: a visionary. It takes a visionary to play chess, This allowed him to make Apple stand out from other emerging computer companies and always be ahead of his competitors.
2. Kobe Bryant
The basketball champion Kobe Bryant was an avid chess player. He won five NBA championships in his career. As a disciplined player, he had a rigorous training program but took time for meditation and playing chess.
His one-pointed focus on his training and game is because of chess. Reporters quoted him as saying, “These young guys are playing draughts. I’m out there playing chess.”
His ability to counteract his opponent’s moves on the basketball court made Kobe Bryant a fantastic basketball player, which he learned from playing chess.
3. Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time winner of the Formula One Grand Prix, is an avid chess player. It is relatively easy to find parallels between Formula One Racing and the game of chess. They require concentration, focus, strategy, and the ability to stay ahead of your opponent. Hamilton uses his off days to play chess and strategize his next moves on the racetrack.
4. Warren Buffet
Businessman Warren Buffet is an avid chess player. As an astute businessman, he has accumulated a stock portfolio unrivaled by anyone. Warren Buffet is another booming business person who parallels business and the game of chess.
Starting a business involves taking a risk. You can move forward despite fear of the unknown or stay on the sidelines. And if you move forward, you are open to new markets and a chance to expand. Chess, like business, is about something other than being safe. You either make the first move forward or allow your opponents to defeat you.
5. Humphrey Bogart
American actor Humphrey Bogart would challenge his co-stars to chess games between film takes. Despite the danger of being caught, Bogart did not let this stop him.
During the Second World War, the FBI suspected him of sending secret codes through the game to GIs stationed in Europe. He was, therefore, asked to stop sending letters to soldiers on the front.
Under Bogart’s instructions, the directors of the movie “Casablanca added the infamous chess scene.
6. Walter Tevis
Walter Tevis, an American short story writer and novelist was an avid chess player. Movies producers have turned several of his books into movies.
Most recently, his book, “The Queen’s Gambit,” based on a chess protégé, reached acclaim as a series on a streaming site.
7. Man Ray
This artist/photographer known for his modernist photographs of the early 1900s was an avid chess player. He was a self-taught chess player and often played with his friends Duchamp and Hedy Lamarr.
Man Ray is most well-known amongst chess players for creating chess sets. The Maharajh of Indore commissioned him to create a silver chess set.
One of his earliest chess sets consisted of geometric shapes. Although very different from the regular chess pieces, they show Man Ray’s artistic side blending with his right brain. It combines the genius of the man, the artist, and the chess player.
8. Hedy Lamar
Hedy Lamar does not just lay claim to the title of a famous actress. She was also an inventor. Inventors and tech enthusiasts give Hedy Lamar credit for discovering modern-day Wi-Fi.
Adding to these titles is also that of an avid chess player. Hedy Lamar played chess with photographer American photographer Man Ray.
9. Heath Ledger
The late American actor Heath Ledger was also an avid chess player. Heath Ledger played chess because he loved and enjoyed the game.
He had a 2000 rating before he passed away and was on the way to becoming a Grand Master. Before his demise, he had plans to develop Walter Tevis’s book, “The Queen’s Gambit,” into a movie.
10. George R.R. Martin
George R.R. Martin, an American author of the Game of Thrones series, attributes his writing inspiration to chess. He played chess competitively, and the USCF rates him at 2000. Although the grandmasters have not rated him, you recognize his love of chess in his books. Intense planning and strategizing are common themes that chess players and readers find in all his books.
Chess relates in many ways to life and is one reason several leaders, businesspersons, and artists enjoy playing it. Presented above are ten famous people who are avid chess players. The list includes professionals who enjoy the game, the theory, and its strategy.