Why Do Chess Players Wear Suits?

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You may have seen chess players wearing suits. But have you ever wondered, why do chess players wear suits?

Not all chess players will wear suits. It will normally be those that play at the upper levels of the game to make the game of chess have a bit more prestige. In other cases, the dress code will be set by the sponsors for the chess player. There are even some chess players that just love to look a little bit sharper.

Having said that, let’s dive in deeper and discuss this in detail!

Prestige for Chess Tournaments

So, why do chess players wear suits? Well, this is probably going to be one of the main reasons.

Chess games have always been regarded as a game for the intellectual. It probably isn’t really a secret that those that sit at the top of the chess game are some of the smartest people in the world.

Also Read: Can Chess Increase IQ?

In order to preserve the prestige of the major chess tournaments, many of them will have a dress code in place that will require all of the participating players to wear a suit. This helps to keep the game looking nice and sophisticated in the eyes of people.

To be honest, this is something that is only really reserved for the major tournaments.

For the smaller tournaments, a lot of them really don’t require you to be wearing anything specific like suits at the tournament. As long as you look semi-presentable, then you are probably going to be allowed to play.

Also Read: Why Do Chess Players Shake Hands?


A lot of the top players in the game, particularly grandmasters, will actually be sponsored by external companies. These companies will often require the grandmaster to wear a suit or something equally as sharp. 

This helps to paint the advertising company in a good light. It also helps to ensure that the players can make a little bit of money.

Also Read: How Do Chess Players Make Money?

If you look at the suit of any player during one of the bigger tournaments, particularly those that are televised, then you will likely see a sponsor somewhere on their clothing.

Some Players Enjoy Looking Sharp

Of course, things can be a little bit simpler than this. There are some players that just enjoy looking good in a suit, so they wear it. They just like to wear a suit. 

You will notice that this happens a lot during some of the smaller tournaments. It is almost as if the players are dressing up with the aspirations of being the best of the best.

Do Chess Players Have to Dress Up?

Yes, chess players have to dress up depending on their respective tournament dress codes. Although if you are you are not one of the top 100 players in your region, then chances are that you do not need to arrive at that next chess tournament wearing a suit.

While researching I found out a FIDE Dress Code Policy in which there is a proper explanation of which dress will be acceptable and which won’t be acceptable. So you can check that out if you want to know more.

Unless there have been specific guidelines given to you in advance, then you could probably wear anything that you want and obviously, that should be acceptable.

If you attended one of these tournaments, then you would probably be the only one wearing a suit.

Even if you saw one of the top players in the world at one of these minor tournaments, you can bet your bottom dollar that most of them are not going to be wearing anything that comes close to a suit. 

They may look a bit smart, but it is going to be more of a casual smart.

Do You Have to Wear a Suit to a Chess Tournament?

No. The only time that you will ever be required to wear a suit to a chess tournament is if you have been informed in advance that you need to wear a suit. Most of the tournaments that actually do require suits will be those that have just a few competitors i.e. the best players in the world.

These tournaments really are going to be reserved for the best players in the world.

You do have to remember that while you may not be required to wear a suit to a chess tournament, there may be other dress codes in place. For example, there are some smaller tournaments that are not really going to be huge fans of people dressing casually. 

For example, there are some small tournaments that have kicked people out for wearing shorts and a t-shirt. This is why it is so important that you know what the rules for the chess tournament are before you attend.

Why do Grandmasters Wear Suits?

Grandmasters will wear suits at prestigious tournaments. This is to help fit in with the dress code. Also, the sponsor wants to ensure that the elegance of their brand is accurately conveyed, and this means that the grandmasters will wear suits because they have been told to do so.

Many of the top grandmasters will also have been sponsored by various companies. When a grandmaster receives sponsorship, they will often be required to wear specific clothing to show off their sponsorship.

In the vast majority of cases, this will be a suit. This is because, once again, the sponsor wants to show off their company in a good light.

Grandmasters are unlikely to be wearing suits to some of the smaller tournaments. In fact, it is not so usual to find a grandmaster wearing a suit unless they absolutely have to.

Also Read: How To Become A Chess Grandmaster?


So this was all about why chess players wear suits. If you found this article helpful, please do share it with others.

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That’s it! Thanks and best of luck for your next chess game 🙂