The once-popular game is suffering from boring grandmasters and controversial leadership.
Today, Anand, the current world champion, plays Boris Gelfand, an Israeli grandmaster, in the first game of the World Chess Federation (commonly known as FIDE for its French acronym) championship match in Moscow. While in India Anand is a national figure and in parts of Europe both players are relatively well-recognized, in the United States they are virtually unknown outside chess clubs or circles of enthusiasts. In part because of this, no one in America seems to be paying much attention to the title that once represented one of the Cold War's many battlefields. Chess has seemingly lost its cultural significance, abdicating its once revered spot to games like poker.