Chess has such a long history, it's not surprising that over years, decades, centuries it has acquired prodigious and substantial player base. There have been very many famous people who play, or have played, chess. This doesn't just include famous, successful grandmasters, either. This includes musicians and Hollywood celebrities, and the list even extends to many U.S. Presidents. Something elemental about chess connects people.
Legendary players known for their dominance in the game include Bobby Fischer, Garry Kasparov, Fabiano Caruana, Levon Aronian, Vishwanathan Anand, Wesley So, Hikaru Nakamura, Magnus Carlsen and many more. These players are known for their extreme skill and the sheer difficulty it took to defeat them on the board. Successful grandmasters who have made their own marks on the game, and in doing so inspired millions of chess enthusiasts to follow their path. Check out an informative article on important chess players on Chess-site. Chess-site also has many reviews, product recommendations and in-depth information on all things chess.
However, this musing is not about grandmasters, but about celebrities in various time periods. Writers, musicians, actors, politicians, professional sports players, scientists, humanitarians, world leaders all around, and just your average, every-day person—all of them have played chess. You have people like boxers Vitali Klitschko and his brother, Vladimir, not only professional boxers but also known for their avid chess skills. Vitali is also the mayor of Kiev and a well-known important Russian politician.
Napolean Opening is named after the French general and emperor Napolean Bonaparte who had a deep love for chess.
A long list of U.S. Presidents played the game. Chess.com has a list with anecdotes that includes George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S Grant, Rutherford Hayes, James Garfield, Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt , William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, Harry S Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama.
Famous physicist Einstein is known to have played chess, not competitively though. Albert Einstein was a friend of former world chess champion (and mathematician) Emanuel Lasker. Frank Morgan learned chess to play it on trains with the stage manager of a traveling drama company, who is a chess addict.
No one pursuit of life, one field that chess players come from, whether you are successful at the game or not, casual or competitive, people from all walks of life already play or want to play chess.
From world leaders to intellectuals and pioneers of science, to famous sports players, plenty of great, famous, successful people in the world all agree on this: chess is worth their time.