9 Surprising Benefits of Office Chess Tournaments

Why host a chess tournament at the office? From being easy to organize to finding hidden qualities of employees, there are good reasons why you should. See them here.

9 Surprising Benefits of Office Chess Tournaments
Written by
Ranveer Mohite
Published on
Jul 3, 2023
Organizers Tournaments

Juggling with the idea of organizing chess tournaments at your workplace?

Well, there are a lot of benefits associated with it, from improving team morale and interpersonal relationships within the workplace to recognizing hidden leadership talent and improving employee engagement.

By the end of reading this, you'll have enough reasons to go out there and organize a tournament.

1. An affordable initiative

In contrast to other programs and activities, organizing a chess tournament is a relatively inexpensive endeavor.

You don't need to spend a lot of resources. There's no costly equipment. A few chessboards, pieces, and a quiet space are all that's required.

Boards and clocks can be rented for relatively cheap.

And you can even use digital chess platforms, like lichess, if your team works remote teams or if you want to further cut down on costs.

2. Easy to organize

Chess tournaments require minimal logistical arrangements, making them easy to set up.

They can be conducted within the office premises during lunch breaks or even after office hours.

Like you can schedule a chess tournament after work. The tournament format can be tailored to accommodate the size and skill level of the participants.

Everyone can come together and play, followed by a nice dinner.

3. Inclusive sport

In a chess tournament, seniors and juniors can come together and participate.

Men and women can compete at the same time.
Executives can fight it out against young interns.

Chess is one of the rare sports where people, regardless of their age, gender, religion, race can come together, compete and have fun at the same time.

This can foster a sense of belonging and equality in the workplace culture.

4. Shows what the company stands for

Chess is considered an intellectual game. You need to be smart and have brains, at least this is the reputation the game gets worldwide.

By organizing a chess tournament, a company sends a clear message about the values it stands for.

So this can significantly enhance the company's image in the eyes of its employees, potential recruits, and even clients.

5. Encourages sportsmanship

At the beginning, and at the end of the match, chess players will shake hands with each other.

You'll very rarely see a physical fight break out after a loss. In fact, many times the players will try to analyze the game together.

Chess is not just about winning; it's also about fair play, respect, and graciousness, whether in victory or defeat.

By hosting a chess tournament, you can imbue these values into the work culture. Employees learn to respect their colleagues, handle wins and losses with grace, and understand the importance of ethical competition.

It can translate into a more positive and respectful workplace environment.

6. Team bonding and team-building activity

One of the most underrated benefits of a chess tournament is its potential as a team-building exercise.

Yes - you can absolutely host team tournaments with chess. It can be a team of 4 players, or even 2 players.

And when played in teams, it fosters collaboration, mutual understanding, and communication, serving as an effective and engaging team-building activity.

Employees learn to leverage their collective strengths, leading to improved interpersonal relationships and a more cohesive team.

7. Highlighting leadership skills

Is there someone you want to promote to a new position?

But you don't know how they take decisions, whether they take initiative, whether they participate in office activities or not?

Organizing a chess tournament can be a great way to test for leadership roles.

8. Discovering hidden qualities of employees

Vladimir Kramnik, the chess world champion, once shared an interesting perspective from his years of experience.

I am convinced, the way one plays chess always reflects the player's personality. If something defines his charafter, then it will also define his way of playing - Vladimir Kramnik

The way someone plays chess indeed speaks a lot about their personality.

In fact, you'll learn a lot from just observing players before, after and during the game.

How do they react after winning?
Do they shake hands after losing?
When they get a losing position on the board, how's their body language?

There are so many small details that can actually speak volumes about a person.

9. Improving Employee Engagement

A chess tournament can be a refreshing change, improving employee engagement.

It introduces an element of friendly competition that can serve as an entertaining diversion from normal routine tasks.

This can help to boost morale and increase overall job satisfaction.


Organizing a chess tournament in the workplace is not only a cost-effective, easy-to-implement initiative, but it also has the potential to boost the company's image, promote sportsmanship, and serve as an effective team-building exercise.

So when are you organizing a chess tournament?

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