India overtook all nations in the number of players in the FIDE rating file on November 1, 2013 is already old news. Now in the four months following that, India had made further progress and widened the lead over France, Spain, Russia and Germany and that is the new finding. Here are the latest numbers as on February 24, 2014.
Meanwhile, Martin Huba has put out a useful report on Jan 28, 2014 from Bratislava. However, in the report he does not talk about players in the FIDE rating file which includes rated, unrated and just about to be rated players! His findings are as follows:
In the number of games players by nations abroad, Germany leads with 20,403. India comes fifth after Germany, Russia, Ukraine and Holland at 6734. In 2012, India registered 7107 games overseas and then dropped in 2013 which could be attributed to the greater number of home events or the general economic slowdown. India is the only non European nation in the top 20 and that is significant.
In the next criteria of the study, number of games played by overseas players in any country is led by France 17460 followed by Germany on 15837. Here, again, India is present at 4016 but more people have played outside Europe at USA 6179 and UAE 4608. The highpoint is that India is increasing steadily like UAE but USA had dropped in 2013 due to the economic slowdown.
Each day, about 2737 rated games are played all over the world. In 2013, Spain clocked 189945 rated games. India came close and next at 182640. France, Germany, Russia and Poland behind. The point visible here is that in 2010, Spain had 155675 and India was at 86652. In three years, 2010-2013, India had more than doubled while Spain is walking the tortoise speed. India and USA are the only non European nations in the world top 20 in terms of rated games played. The USA numbers are about one-sixth of the Indian number.
The number of Open tournaments also points to France and Spain dominating with 703 and 512 followed by Russia on 503. In the non-European total, USA leads with 211 followed by India 180 and Brazil 130. For the massive size of Russia, the number is low. This number shows that India has more players competing per tournament. So, the demand to organise more Open tournaments is crystal clear. Or, it is possible that more concentration of activity to some areas of the nation like Tamil Nadu for example is happening. So, in future, it will become more difficult to avoid clashing of events.
The final and most important criteria is the number of active players. In the 2009-2013 period, India had nearly increased from 2475 to 7014 which is three times. India is fourth in this criteria behind Spain 10149, Germany 9384 and France 9019. Others are growing about 10%. India (7014) and USA (1646) are the only non-European nations in the top 20 list.