Yet just a couple of days ago, the Communications and Post Minister had honoured the Iraqi Female Chess Champion!
For more on this issue - you can read a short discussion here or a longer but well considered one here. Basically, the situation does not appear to be clear. Some, like The Bishop of Hip Hop, reckon that chess is definitely allowed provided the following conditions are met:
1- One should not get so absorbed in it that he delays his prayer; chess is well-known to be a stealer of time.
2- There should be no gambling involved.
3- The players should not utter obscenities or vulgarities. If any of these conditions are not met it should be considered as haram