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Chess looks like a simple game. It is played on a simple checkered board, with 64 squares and a number of pieces. It is a two-player game, with each player taking it in turns to move one of their 16 pieces, with the ultimate goal being to capture the king of the opposing player. However, whilst chess looks simple, it is anything but.
Chess is often considered to be the ultimate strategy game, a game that involves thinking several moves ahead, and trying to read your opponent and the board at the same time. There are so many possible moves in chess, so many ways that your opponent can play, that thinking even one move ahead can be difficult, but the best players basically have the entire game mapped out in their heads, changing that map according to the individual moves that their opponents make.
Chess is played competitively around the world, with major tournaments such as the World Chess Championship attracting the most prestige. It is a game that has been around for hundreds of years and one that has been played competitively for over 100 years. Despite this, it is only in recent years that chess has become a popular gambling attraction.
This is because chess was never something that bookmakers ran odds on, and a “trackside” betting terminal just wouldn’t fit in a chess tournament. Gamblers therefore had to wait for the advent of the betting exchange before they could bet on this game. A betting exchange allows players to become bookmakers, which basically means that there are millions of potential bookmakers, all running odds on whatever sport they choose.
In this article we will look at the gambling markets available on chess, all of which are on the BetFair exchange. Not only is this is the largest gambling exchange in the world, with many millions of members across all continents, but it is also popular and widely available here in Canada. This means that Canadians, just like gamblers in many other countries, can bet on games and tournaments of chess.
The Chess Page on BetFair
It will come as no surprise to many to learn that chess is not one of the most popular things to gamble on. Therefore, you won’t find it under the most popular sports or indeed on the homepage. If you click the “down arrow” on the top left of the BetFair site, opening all of the “other sports” that they have, then you will find it. It’s all in alphabetical order, so it shouldn’t be hard to find.
Once you click the link for “chess” then you will be greeted with a fairly extensive page that covers all available games and markets, from those playing now and those playing soon, to major tournaments due to begin in a few months. The options that you can choose from here include “Today”, which shows all of the games scheduled to play during that day, and “featured”, which covers big and important games played at a later date.
Once you find the match or the tournament that you’re looking for then click on it and you will open up the many markets on that match or tournament.
There are not many bets to choose from here, but one of the most popular, and indeed one of the markets that will return the best odds, is the Tournament Outright market. Here you will be betting on the course of a tournament, picking who will win, who will make it to the final, etc., If you get in before the tournament starts then you will get big odds even on the favourites, as there is a long way to go and anything can happen. You will also get huge odds on outsiders, so if you have a feeling that an unknown will have a good tournament or that an old-timer who has lost his way will find it again, then this is a great chance for you to earn some cash.
This is where you will bet on who will win a single match. Unlike a football, hockey or basketball game, where there are many markets to choose from, you are fairly limited here. The best way to proceed is therefore just to bet on the winner, although this is only valid if you’re betting on an outsider or if the match is fairly evenly weighted, otherwise the odds for a favourite to win will be too short to bother with. If it’s not evenly weighted and you’re sure that a heavy favourite will win, then you can look elsewhere as you try to find value in other markets. There are occasional handicap markets, will give the favourite a hypothetical handicap, and you can also bet on the time of the match.
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