When orders of a 10-year-old book kept flooding in and hitting #1 on Amazon’s Bestseller list, it puzzled its publisher New in Chess—which is now owned by Chess.com. The reason: A mention by two of the world’s most popular chess streamers.
“I am going to show you a puzzle that every single Russian kid has studied in their career.”
That’s how WGM Dina Belenkaya opens the educational video titled “Chess Amateur vs. Professional: The Difference” which currently has more than 253,000 views on Youtube. Along with popular streamer Andrea Botez, they teamed up to show the difference between the approaches to analyzing a chess position.
Belenkaya uses an exercise from Techniques of Positional Play by Valeri Bronznik and Anatoli Terekhin, published in 2013. The book is one of publisher New in Chess’ most popular titles in the last decade and received highly positive reviews after its release.
Watch the 10-minute video here:
A mention in the video and a link in the description sparked a revived interest in the book as 100 copies of the print version were sold out in the Netherlands three days later. Another 100 books were shipped to the U.S. and Amazon store.
The book had to be reprinted and will become available again this week.
“We were taken by surprise. On a Monday morning, we suddenly had an inbox with dozens of orders for one of our classic chess improvement books. We had to google to find out where that avalanche came from…” Remmelt Otten, Publisher of New in Chess, says.
The massive renewed interest in the book catapulted the Kindle Edition into the #1 spot on Amazon’s Best Sellers list. The list is a live list and it has now dropped some spots.
“It was something special that the book reached the Kindle #1 spot in the Amazon chess Best Seller list. We had that experience before, with four other titles, but then in the weeks after their release–not 10 years after the publication date.” Otten says.
Chess is experiencing another huge chess boom, with online servers unable to cope with the pressure due to massive interest, and Chess.com’s app becoming #1 most popular free game on app stores for Android and iOS.
“This is such an amazing moment for chess! I am so happy to see so many new people enjoying the game we all love,” Danny Rensch, Chess.com’s CCO, said.
Chess streamers also seem to influence the popularity of the game, as shown by viewership numbers for January.
Youtube Chess Channels by video views month of January, 2023:
1- @GothamChess (206M+)
3- BotezLive (40M+)
4- @GMHikaru (33M+)
5- @BobbyBoJanglles (22M+)
6- thechessnerd (20M+)
7- @AnnaCramling (17.9M+)
8- @chesscom (17.8M+)
— Zach (@thechessnerd) February 5, 2023
“The power of streamers is remarkable–and very welcome. They bring new people to chess.” Otten says.
Dina Belenkaya says she is “delighted” to hear about her influence on the popularity of Techniques of Positional Play.
“I’m definitely proud of it, but it also creates a certain responsibility when it comes to supporting and guiding players on their path of progression,” she says.
“I don’t often make educational content but since chess is booming nowadays, all chess players/content creators should be helpful with things like promoting good books and resources to raise even more awareness of our sport!” Belenkaya added.